Fact Check: C40 Cities Group Is NOT Forcing Cities To Drastically Change Consumption Habits

Fact Check

  • de: Jurnaliștii Lead Stories
Fact Check: C40 Cities Group Is NOT Forcing Cities To Drastically Change Consumption Habits No Such Cities

Is the C40 Cities organization forcing drastic changes in the purchasing and consumption habits of city dwellers such as eating no meat and proteins, taking one short flight every three years, and buying three pieces of clothing per year? No, that's not true: a study by C40 Cities, Arup, and the University of Leeds, is meant to showcase the consumption habits that urban dwellers need to drastically change in order to meet the 1.5-degree climate target set by the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris in 2015, also known as the Paris Agreement. These are not meant as policy directives.

The claim originated from a video (archived here) published on TikTok by user @iondragoshoreabarezerva on September 20, 2023. A claim translated into English from Romanian by Lead Stories staff says:

C40 is an organization comprising hundreds of cities. In these cities, veganism will be enforced, and cars, meat, and proteins will not be allowed. You can only buy three pieces of clothing per year and you will be allowed to fly only once every three years, but only short distance flights.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-09-21 at 09.53.49.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Sep 21 06:30:54 2023 UTC)

The data that the user is citing is based on a report called "The Future of Urban Consumption in a 1.5°C World", coordinated and written by the University of Leeds, Arup, a London-based design company, and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a global network of 96 mayors of the world's leading cities that make up more than 20% of the world's economy. According to C40's "About" Page, mayors representing C40 cities are committed to using an "inclusive, science-based, and collaborative approach to cut their fair share of emissions in half by 2030 and help the world limit global heating to 1.5°C." Romania has no city among the C40, while the video falsely claims it has several.

The study focuses on six sectors where "leaders, businesses, and the public can take action to change consumption habits, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions" which include food, construction, clothing, vehicles, aviation, and electronics. Drastic consumption limits mentioned in the study are not meant as policy directives, but rather to showcase the granular and systemic actions that people should be collectively taking if this target is to become a reality in the near future. There is no obligation or intention to implement these recommendations through the publication of this report. Mayors of the cities within the C40 group do not have the mandate to impose such restrictions on their respective cities and/or countries, nor is this the purpose of the study.

  Lead Stories Staff

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