In Copenhagen, 14 of World’s Biggest Cities Commit to EVs

Fourteen of the world’s largest cities agreed to take steps over the coming year to make their cities more electric vehicle-friendly. The announcement was made at the ‘Climate Summit for Mayors’, which is being held alongside the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

Half the world’s population lives in cities that account for more than two-thirds of carbon emissions. And as California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made the case in Copenhagen on Tuesday at the Climate Summit for Mayors during the UN COP15 climate summit cities and other sub-national units of government will play a critical role in implementing the kind of innovative solutions necessary to clean up our transportation infrastructure in a carbon-constrained world. In that vein, a group of fourteen of the world’s largest cities took a step in that direction in Copenhagen on Wednesday.


The cities–Bogota, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Copenhagen, Delhi, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Toronto, Sao Paulo, Seoul and Sydney–have come together to form the ‘C40 Electric Vehicle Network’ and collectively will work in four areas of municipal action that they see as critical to the successful introduction of electric vehicles:

  1. Facilitate the planning and deployment of charging infrastructure and related electricity supply systems in collaboration with local utilities.
  2. Work with relevant stakeholders to streamline permitting processes associated with charging equipment to encourage the safe and expeditious installation on customer premises and elsewhere.
  3. Coordinate monetary and non-monetary incentives available to the general public and organizations purchasing electric vehicles, and contribute to the package appropriately.
  4. Develop and publish a plan to mobilize demand for electric vehicles in city fleets for the period 2010 – 2013 and rally private fleets to the safe end.

The C40 program will also include the support of the Clinton Climate Initiative and a group of private sector partners including car manufacturers, BYD, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, Nissan and Renault. By advising on vehicle specifications, charging parameters, business models for electricity supply, and incentives, these companies will help the cities craft electric vehicle policies, as well as advise on vehicle procurement and infrastructure development and investment decisions.

The role of cities

The larger C40 Cities group is comprised of 40 of the world’s largest cities committed to taking action on climate change by reducing greenhouse gases. As the delivery partner of the C40, the Clinton Climate Initiative will help the C40 Electric Vehicle Network cities to develop their electric vehicle strategies and convene and collaborate with key industry stakeholders to accelerate implementation.

“Increasing the number of electric vehicles on our roads is a critical step in significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, and cities can lead the way,” said President Clinton.

“By bringing together cities and private sector companies to make electric vehicles a viable option for every driver, this network will help improve air quality, create more sustainable, good-paying jobs, and establish new models for other cities to follow,” President Clinton added.


Timothy B. Hurst

is the founder of ecopolitology and the executive editor at LiveOAK Media, a media network about the politics of energy and the environment, green business, cleantech, and green living. When not reading, writing, thinking or talking about environmental politics with anyone who will listen, Tim spends his time skiing in Colorado's high country, hiking with his dog, and getting dirty in his vegetable garden.