UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday urged voters and lawmakers to pressure governments to fight climate change and achieve carbon neutrality.
"Today, we can see businesses, cities and society moving faster than governments are," Guterres told the World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen.
"And so it's very important to go on putting as much pressure as possible on governments to make sure that they always, they always, all of them, accept our carbon neutrality objective."
Mayors from major cities across the globe used the networking summit, comprising more than 90 events and activities focusing on climate challenges, as a chance to stress the "global climate emergency".
They have already committed to working with a coalition of youth climate activists, businesses and civil society to pursue a Green New Deal whereby the world rethinks its economic model to tackle environmental and development challenges.
"We are generation GND, the generation of the Green New Deal and all leaders have two choices. One: join us, adopt green new deal in your communities, your constituencies and take action to save your children's future."
"Or you have a second option: Get out," said Jamie Margolin, the 17-year-old US student who founded the youth climate movement ZeroHour.
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, presiding the C40 group meeting in Copenhagen, hailed young people for putting mobilising and giving the battle against climate change huge momentum.
"This call to arms is really moving" leaders to act, Hidalgo told AFP. "Otherwise things will not move so quickly."
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