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San Juan joins Cities Race to Zero initiative

The Municipality of San Juan has joined the Cities Race to Zero initiative. However, News is my Business has been unable to ascertain who enrolled the municipality or when this occurred, as it remains unclear who signed up the capital city for the effort.

Cities Race to Zero is the official partner of the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign. This initiative provides cities and local governments of all sizes with a single entry point to join a global effort to “halve global emissions” by 2030 for a healthier and fairer zero-carbon world. 

So far 1,143 cities and governments have joined the initiative, and the municipality of San Juan appears to form part of the effort according to the Cities Race to Zero map.

Rolf Rosenkranz, head of global media, communications and events at C40, confirmed San Juan’s participation in the Cities Race to Zero effort but said he doesn’t have “very specific answers” in response to queries from News is my Business.

“First, allow me to clarify that C40 is one of several partners of the Cities Race to Zero. Cities that participate in the Race to Zero do not automatically become C40 members. San Juan, for example, is part of the Cities Race to Zero; it is not a member of C40’s international network of mayors,” he stated.

The municipality has yet to respond to requests for comment.

Nevertheless, San Juan has “pledged to publicly” endorse principles that include recognizing the global climate emergency and committing to reach net-zero emissions in the 2040s or sooner, or by mid-century at the latest, aligning with global efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The municipality is also expected to outline the steps it will take toward achieving net-zero emissions, “especially in the short- to medium-term.” 

The Cities Race to Zero pledge form states that participating cities should “set an interim target to achieve in the next decade, which reflects a fair share of the 50% global reduction in CO2 by 2030 identified in the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)] Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°Celsius.” 

Cities should also “immediately proceed to planning at least one inclusive and equitable climate action, that will help to place your city on a resilient pathway consistent with the 1.5°Celsius objective of the Paris Agreement and begin implementation within a year of your commitment.” 

In addition, participants in the initiative are required to report their annual progress “beginning no later than the year you joined Cities Race to Zero to your usual or the recommended reporting platform.” 

“Because of some recent misinformation, I’d like to make abundantly clear that the Cities Race to Zero criteria do not include anything about restrictions on meat or dairy consumption, items of clothing per person per year, vehicles owned, or flights,” Rosenkranz added.

Author Details
Author Details
Maria Miranda is an investigative reporter and editor with 20 years of experience in Puerto Rico’s English-language newspapers. In that capacity, she has worked on long-term projects and has covered breaking news under strict deadlines. She is proficient at mining data from public databases and interviewing people (both public figures and private sector individuals). She is also a translator, and has edited and translated an economy book on Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis. She worked as an interpreter for FEMA during the recent recovery efforts of Hurricane María and earned her FEMA badge.

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