Climate Change


Post elections – What are the world's leading cities doing to combat the climate crisis?

Welcome back to UCL Generation One: The Climate Podcast. Introducing episode 7, our final episode of season four.

In the final episode of Series Four of our Generation One Podcast, we take a look at cities and climate action. With many elections happening around the world, what are cities actually doing to adapt to climate change, mitigate climate impact on populations, and reduce emissions?

Our hosts discuss urban adaptation and transformation with UCL Professor Lauren Andres (Director of Research at the Bartlett School of Planning) and Mark Watts, the Executive Director of C40 Cities, a global network of mayors taking urgent climate action.

Views expressed by our guests are their own.


UCL Minds  0:02  
We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it.

Lauren Andres  0:12  
What happened during the pandemic is not that different from what is going to happen with climate change.

Mark Watts  0:19  
The city leaders are ahead of particularly the national leaders in genuinely having climate policy at the forefront of their agendas.

Shirley Rodrigues  0:29  
Cities are the home of major populations and huge producers of emissions. And so what we do really matters.

Mark Maslin  0:41  
This is Generation One from University College London, turning climate science and ideas into action.
Hi, I'm Mark Maslin, and I'm a professor of Earth Systems Science here at UCL, which as you all know by now means that I study climate change in the past, the present, and the future. 

Simon Chin-Yee  1:07  
And I'm Simon Chin-Yee, and I'm in the Political Sciences department here at UCL, and I've been thinking about all things climate change for over a decade. 
And one of the reasons I came to UCL in the first place was because it is in the glorious city of London. It's one of the greatest cities in the world, and there's no doubt that the reason UCL is such a thriving university is because it is here. And in fact, I frequently encourage students to take advantage of all that this city has to offer, not just the sights and sounds, but the diversity of the people who make up London. 

Mark Maslin  1:40  
Well, as you know, Simon, I'm a Londoner born and bred; of course, this is the greatest city in the world. However, my first years really hate me, because when I have tutorials with them, I always pick on them and go, where have you been this week? What cultural event have you been to? Because there's so many museums, there's so many art galleries, so many great jazz clubs here in London. And that really frustrates me that people don't make the most of it.

Simon Chin-Yee  2:07  
And when I was a Masters student here in the City of London – way too many years ago, Mark – I took advantage of the fact that I was studying Political Sciences. In London you have everyone come through the city, right? We had Naomi Klein come to speak with us. We had Nelson Mandela come to speak to us. They had so many people that come to this city.

Mark Maslin  2:25  
I love it, because this is why UCL is such a great university: because we just sit here, and everybody comes to us, which is fantastic. And it also makes these podcasts really great because we have such great guests.

Simon Chin-Yee  2:48  
So today, we're going to turn our attention to the climate change debate as it relates to cities. According to the UN, 68% of the world's population is projected to live in urban areas by 2050. So what are the leading cities around the world doing to mitigate the effects of climate change and reduce their emissions? What more needs to happen? And what are some of the challenges they face in achieving this?

Mark Maslin  3:13  
We're joined by Mark Watts, the Executive Director of C40 Cities. C40 Cities is a network of nearly 100 mayors of the world's leading cities, united in action to confront the climate crisis.

Simon Chin-Yee  3:27  
We also have with us UCL Professor Lauren Andres. Lauren is the Director of Research at the Bartlett School of Planning here at UCL, and the Chair in Planning and Urban Transformation. Her work focuses on adaptable cities and the transformations they face in response to crises, having recently looked at pandemic and post-pandemic cities.

Mark Maslin  3:46  
Well, of course, I mean this is a huge year. We've had elections in London, we're going to have national elections in the UK. And actually there are 2 billion people this year in 50 different countries that are going to the polls. So this is a big year for democracy, for elections, and a change perhaps, in people's viewpoints. And maybe we are looking at a change whereby climate change may be a new, important topic.

Simon Chin-Yee  4:21  
So while we look at that, we're going to look at what countries use this platform to increase their pledges. For example, of that larger global level; but also to look at what the people are looking at, and demanding of their politicians in this year, to see if they need to actually pivot and change and not only focus on the economy, but actually focus on what is important for the environment. 

Mark Maslin  4:46  
But before we hear from our wonderful guests for this episode, let us hear from the Deputy Mayor of London, Shirley Rodriguez, who spoke to Generation One at a recent UCL climate conference. Shirley explained the importance of international collaboration, and of course, the C40.

Shirley Rodrigues  5:03  
It's absolutely critical, you know, cities are the home of major populations and huge producers of emissions, you know. And so what we do really matters, and that leadership by the mayor. So that coming together, sharing best practices is really important. But one of the things that we've been really advocating for is to try and to get cities on the agenda at the UN. So it's part of the COP process. And the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had a UN climate ambition summit in New York last year, where it was the first time sort of a mayor was invited to speak on these subjects. And it was about the recognition by national governments of the importance of cities in delivering their national targets. Without working with cities, city leaders, citizens, you are not going to get there. So it's really important and C40 is a great advocate for that.

Simon Chin-Yee  5:53  
Shirley went on to explain why targeted climate action to tackle specific issues like pollution and flooding is critical to ensuring public support. 

Shirley Rodrigues  6:02  
Whenever we look at the polling, we're told, and we can see, that people want action on a huge host of environmental issues. People will look at what is important to them: is it air pollution, is that the cost of living, is it you know, their ability to heat their homes and keep warm in their homes. And the solutions to those are the ones that tackle climate change. So energy efficiency; retrofitting that will help keep your homes warm in the winter, but also cool in the summer. And we're seeing increasingly the impacts of those climate impacts in London now, you know, heat waves, extreme heat waves, flash flooding, you know, impacting us all the time. On health, for example, you know, air pollution is killing people, literally killing people, and, you know, long term illnesses and diseases. And we know that fossil fuel use, largely from cars in London, are driving that. So how do we, you know – so they want action on that. And when they realise the solutions are things like ULEZ or more walking and cycling, or public transportation, you know, if you get people focused on those solutions, then you get that engagement. If you just talk about things like the quite esoteric, like climate, or they're worried about it, or they don't see the relevance, then they switch off. So you've got to talk to people in, you know, on the agendas that they want to talk about and show how climate action, environmental action, will help bring all those benefits to them. 

Simon Chin-Yee  7:19  
So that was Shirley Rodriguez, the Deputy Mayor of London. And now on to our hybrid roundtable. We have with us the wonderful Mark Watts, the executive director of C40 Cities. And with us online, we have Professor Lauren Andres, the Director of Research at the Bartlett School of Planning here at UCL. Hello to you both. 

Lauren Andres  7:37

Mark Watts  7:38

Simon Chin-Yee  7:39   
So to start perhaps with you, Lauren, could you tell us your role and what you do, and in particular, about your research work on urban adaptability in relation to the climate crisis? 

Lauren Andres  7:51  
Of course. So my work has been really looking at urban adaptations: the adaptation of spaces, but also the adaptation of people and communities in times of crisis. A lot of my recent work has been looking specifically at what happened during the pandemic, with the idea that the pandemic is one of those crises that cities are going to face in the future. And what happened during the pandemic is not that different from what is going to happen with climate change. And in relation to this, I'm really interested in looking at temporary adaptation, temporary urbanism. How we can change spaces, how we can adapt spaces to really respond to needs. Urgent needs, but also long-term needs, from local communities, and really to learn and to build on this. 

Simon Chin-Yee  8:39  
That's great, Lauren, can you give us an example of this urban adaptability in one of the cities that you've mentioned? 

Lauren Andres  8:45  
Of course, so for example, a really interesting example is what happened in New York City during the pandemic. So they built on an existing programme, Open Streets, which was very much built on the Piazza programme, which was really this idea of taking the cars out of the street and using the streets for different purposes. And what happened in New York City during the pandemic is, this programme was spread across the city, allowing people to actually use the streets without cars for their purposes and especially for communities which are lacking. Typically public spaces, open spaces, parks, using the street as a space to play, to entertain, to turn to go for, for example, meet new neighbours and to have fun. And this is also searing with a wider agenda of really taking the cars out of the street and promoting active travel, and really helping New Yorkers to take their bikes and effectively cycle instead of drive.

Simon Chin-Yee  9:42  
That's great. Honestly, I actually noticed today outside UCL, they've actually done that beside one of the squares and I saw the professors and students all there having fun. Well, presumably having fun. And Mark, on to you now. What about you, what's your role in C40 Cities and what does it mean for adaptability? 

Mark Watts  10:02  
Well, I'm the Executive Director C40 Cities, we're a network of just under 100 of the world's major cities, mostly populations in the multi-millions. Working together, we're a team of about 400 people now spread across the world. And we're essentially helping the mayors of those cities, senior officials within cities, work with each other. So they all go faster, because they learn from each other. And it’s really interesting listening to Lauren, because whilst we're a climate focused organisation, for the best part of the year in 2020 we were a network that shared best practice and how to cope with the pandemic, because that was the only thing that our cities could deal with and had to deal with. And so we just transformed, adapted, into being a network that shared that experience and how to manage an epidemic, a global pandemic.

Mark Maslin  10:47  
So Mark, can I ask you, because there’s this urban myth, that, of course, the number it was C10, C11, C13, C40. Why did you stick with C40 now you have 100 cities? 

Mark Watts  11:03  
I get this every day. I was involved in creating C40 so I can give you the definitive answer. We were originally the C20 because it was formed by Ken Livingstone and Nicky Gavron, Mayor and Deputy Mayor of London, when the G20 was meeting and didn't have climate on the agenda. So they thought they’d get together the capital cities of the G20. We very quickly grew, Bill Clinton brought in his Climate Initiative, and became a partnership. And in a very American way, he said, you know, I’m in, but you need to be bigger. So we became the C40 and grew outwards. And so to be honest after that, every single year, someone will tell me we have to change the name because we're now 97, capped at 100. And we will then hire an advertising agency, who will say you're crazy, you can't change your name. Because now, you've got such good recognition for that name, just stick with it, who cares.

Simon Chin-Yee  11:51  
Yeah, the “C not-quite 100” doesn’t have the same ring to it as C40.

Mark Maslin  11:58  
But it's a brilliant story. It tells the history of the organisation, which I think is great. So you have a target to reduce emissions by half by 2030, which is incredible.

Mark Watts  12:08  
Yeah, it's definitely no longer what it was when I started in this work 20 years ago, that knowing technically, what is it we need to do? And how can you redesign buildings so that they are more energy efficient? How can you bring renewable energy into a city, we know exactly what to do. And there's an example in one city somewhere in the C40 network that all the rest can learn from. I'd say that, you know, the biggest obstacle at the moment for us, really, it's just the sheer pressure from a fossil fuel industry that's fighting to maintain its position, and the spread of disinformation, misinformation, attempts to undermine really good sound policy that enjoys public support. But if you can just get a minority of people to be scared and worried that maybe this policy of a low emission zone to clean the air for everyone is, is in fact, a conspiracy to keep people in their homes, then you can start to build enough pressure that undermines those policies. And a lot of our work now when we do that is best practice sharing of the technical policies, but a lot of our work is actually helping mayors win and maintain public support for their policies.

Mark Maslin  13:18  
I mean Mark, I've always been amazed that the 15 minute city, which sounds like a dream, to me, has become this conspiracy to control us to make us not commute to work, and not actually spend hours and hours just trying to get to work. 

Mark Watts  13:35  
And generally, amongst the kind of leading politicians in the world, I would say generally, the city leaders are ahead of particularly the national leaders in genuinely having climate policy at the forefront of their agendas. I think that partly comes from the pressure that they get from their constituency, particularly in the big cosmopolitan cities, partly just because they're feeling the impact so severely. So if you talk to the mayor of Dhaka North who I work with a lot, 2000 climate migrants coming into his city every single day, that they have to support and serve at the same time as they're in one of the most flood-threatened parts of the world. And, you know, I can give similar examples of cities around the world. So they're really feeling it. But also actually, it's, you know, we're really an organisation that focuses on the nexus between climate justice and reducing emissions and resilience, and that opportunity to build fairer societies, more pleasant places to live. And you really feel the pollution in the city in a way that's not so obvious in a rural environment.

Simon Chin-Yee  14:35  
Again so fascinating, and I think there's something here that is actually kind of in the middle, right? So mayors have been elevated into that harsher level, but actually, they're also more feet-on-the-ground with the populations that are being affected, and have direct access from time-to-time to them. So back to Lauren here. You mentioned Lauren, you've mentioned you worked on Paris, Tokyo, London, New York, all the great cities. Are those the cities that are leading the way in reducing their emissions, or are there other cities that are perhaps being the leaders that maybe you're not even working with, but you're aware of, that are really tackling the climate crisis?

Lauren Andres  15:10  
I mean, some of those big cities are, I mean, leaders in the field. And I think, before mentioning a couple of other ones, I'd like to come back to a couple of points Mark mentioned, because for me, climate change is political. And I think in that respect, it's the role of the mayors but also the vision. And I think this explained that there's huge differences when even we're looking at London, Tokyo, for example, Paris or New York, because it's not only a mayor with a strategy, it's the mayor with a vision, with power, as well. And I think here, what is key as well, when we're looking at the differences between, for example, the US and Europe, is the extent to which some mayors have very much the local power to drive the decision forward. We tend to consider that Paris is a very good example in terms of really embracing this climate change agenda forward. It's really interesting here, because we see the sort of the differences between them in the capital city and this sort of political wilderness, we need to demonstrate how Paris is driving this agenda. So there's a key political, individual, political, in a way, strategy behind it. And Mark points on disinformation, I think really here is really, really interesting, because we really see this happening in London. And I think what happened with the LTNs, the low traffic neighbourhoods, and all the misinformation, very similar to what we had as well with the 15 minute city, I think this is a total disaster in that respect. The issue we're seeing now is a lot of cities are embracing some form of climate change agenda, but sometimes it is too siloed. And going back to the initial questions, I think a lot of American cities are very far from really embracing this climate change agenda. And this goes back to national power and national agenda. And I think that's really the key thing when we're trying to compare which cities is doing what, who has power and what kind as well of, sort of, funding and financing they have in place to do this.

Mark Watts  17:06  
I very much agree with Lauren about Paris, I have to say, Ana Maria Hidalgo has been an extraordinarily brave and consistent leader there. But I think the first you know, the cities that get the least credit in the West, but in some ways are doing the most are our Chinese member cities. The shift to electric buses in Shenzhen and then Nanjing and now across all of our Chinese member cities has transformed the entire global market for electric buses. It was only four or five years ago that we were talking to the biggest bus manufacturers in the world who said they were not intending to sell electric buses in Latin America until 2035. Now, most of our C40 cities are up to 10, 20% of their fleets electric and will go fully electric within the next few years. That's only possible because there was such a big investment in China. And then the Chinese companies came into the market and completely changed what was possible. And I'm also quite inspired having just been out there, seeing the way that Shanghai, Guangzhou have just physically greened post the pandemic. I mean, they look more like Singapore. But you know, also the ones, you know, in Africa, we see so much leadership. What Mayor Aki-Sawyerr has done in Freetown in Sierra Leone, one of the poorest cities in the world, or in Accra, I was talking to our team there just yesterday, where the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions is actually methane from waste, from dumped waste and badly landfilled waste. And there, over a few years there, working through C40, the mayor has helped those informal waste pickers, you know, the poorest of the poor, create their own Association, so that they can then bid for contracts from the city and win them to manage the waste. So getting formal employment with better wages, good conditions, the city has set up a health protection scheme for those workers now, as well as a billboard campaign across the city to recognise the value of those waste pickers who otherwise are often quite demonised and looked down upon.

UCL Minds  19:07  
You're listening to UCL Generation One, turning science and ideas into climate action.

Mark Maslin  19:15  
So Lauren, we're moving to a global society that's going to be hyper-urban, we are going to have 68% of the world's population living in cities by 2050. Does that make it easier or harder to actually deal with the emissions but also the impacts of climate change? 

Lauren Andres  19:38  
To some extent, it probably makes it easier in the sense that cities tend to be a centre of growth, of resources, both in terms of built environment experts working on those key issues, but also resources, sources of investments. So to some extent, it kind of in a way focuses and it kind of centres all the key issues in the same place. However, what we need to think of is urban growth means a rise of informal settlements, of townships, of slums. And we know that not only those communities are the most vulnerable, but often they live in flood zones. They live in essentially in contexts where they can't protect themselves against heat. So it does condense all the issues more spatially, but it will lead to more issues.

Mark Watts  20:29  
Well, the evidence is certainly very clear that well-designed, densely populated cities can have much lower environmental footprints than the rest of their country. 75% of C40 cities are cutting emissions faster year-on-year than their respective nation states, and they should do, because you can be more efficient when people are living densely together. However, there's a very big “but” here, I think it's the speed at which cities grow and the nature of that growth. If the city is a magnet, because it's creating jobs and opportunity and well-designed cities with good infrastructure, that's one thing. It's another thing, if it's 1000s of desperate people fleeing climate impacts that are coming into a city and need to be housed. And often they're going to end up in informal settlements. That's a very different scenario for sustainability of any sort. 

Simon Chin-Yee  21:20  
So maybe Lauren, if I could ask you this question first. Where do we need to see more change, faster change?

Lauren Andres  21:27  
We have a lot of cities who are extremely keen, really, to drive this agenda forward. I think climate change is seen as a priority. It's seen as a political priority. The issue we're having is how this clashes, and especially if we're looking at African cities, with other priorities. So I think the issue of climate change when we're looking at African cities could be quite problematic, because a lot of African cities are really keen to embrace climate change. The issue we're facing here is how this clashes with other priorities and one of them, of course, is poverty. It's providing decent housing, it's also continuing, really, to pursue local or national economy development. And the other thing we need to bear in mind as well is the resources that are available. I'm a planner, I'm coming from an urban planning perspective. When we're looking at what's happening in Africa, there's a key issue in relation to urban planning resources. There's very little, for example, planners working in the field. So it's an issue of having a large and very ambitious climate change strategy, and then how do we implement it?

Mark Maslin  22:37  
So Mark, all the stuff we've been talking about is really positive. There's lots of change, both in developed and developing countries. But actually, in the last 12 months, we've broken through the 1.5 degrees sort of threshold. The mayors and C40: what do you see as the worst case scenario? For cities? What are people really worried about, are mayors deeply concerned about? What is climate change going to do to their people?

Mark Watts  23:04  
I think even in some of the wealthiest cities, but even more so in the poorer cities, it's just a scale and repetition of climate impacts that you just can't recover from. You know, you've just built back from one flood and then there's another massive flood again. We're seeing that in the Philippines, in Quezon city where people in some of the informal settlements now being routinely flooded out of their homes three times a year, people with almost nothing. And so I think it's that fear that we're getting to a point where it's almost impossible to plan for resilience in the face of just mounting climate impacts. I think the other is being able to quickly enough demonstrate and persuade people that there's a much better, brighter future in shifting to a green economy, and it's not something to be feared. 

Simon Chin-Yee  24:01  
I mean, this is a question for you both. Just on this question of priorities, really: so many urban climate initiatives are criticised or not implemented at all, because of the economic impact either on the city as a whole, or on the individuals, or at least as they see them. How do we balance the interests of the environment, the economy, and the people themselves when they seem to come into conflict with each other?

Mark Watts  24:28  
So you know, I think the first thing to say on this is I have very, very rarely seen an analysis where actually there is a net dis-benefit, economic dis-benefit, from a faster shift to a green economy. All the analysis we've ever done at C40 shows there are more jobs, there's greater economic opportunity and reduced pollution the faster you get off fossil fuels and clean up cities. And sometimes the multiples are huge, you know, there’s six times as many jobs in C40 cities in renewable energy and retrofitting buildings than there would be in trying to meet energy demand with new fossil fuel supply. But I think it's one thing kind of demonstrating that at a macro level that academics and people like me, policymakers, are going to get and enjoy. It's a very different thing saying you individually in your community are going to be better off, even though we've just announced we're closing down the gas plant where you are employed. And so, I think it's really intentional policymaking. We've set as alongside our C40 target of having emissions across these 100 cities by 2030, we also have a target to create 50 million good new green jobs. And it's not a political kind of “let’s have a big number”, it was actually work backwards from how many good new green jobs are necessary to deliver the target of halving emissions.

Simon Chin-Yee  25:46  
So what I'm hearing is, it's really about trust and talking and communication between politicians and the people themselves, especially the ones that are involved in the jobs.

Mark Watts  25:55  
Yeah, and it can't be done quickly. You've really got to engage, and you've really got to have a partnership. It can't be just a slogan or an announcement. It's got to be months and months, years and years of working together and building that trust. 

Simon Chin-Yee  26:06  
Yeah, they need to be part of the conversation itself. Lauren, do you have another take on this? 

Lauren Andres  26:11  
Yep. So I want to just to start with going back to trust. I think it's really trust, it's also knowledge, it's being able to gather the relevant knowledge and being able to share this knowledge through the right platforms. I think something we need really to bear in mind as well with regard to this is also acknowledge and work with those who may not be voting as yet. And I think there's a group that we haven't mentioned that much, which is really important in this equation, is the youth, the children and the youth. Because we know they are really committed in relation to climate change, in relation to really building a better future. And often, as during the pandemic, their voices are not really heard. What we know is that climate change as any other crisis are going always to impact the most vulnerable. And this was picked up by Mark again, in the previous answers. But I think we need really to remember this issue of what we call intersectional burdens. So those who are living in the worst conditions are going to be the ones that are going to be the most affected by the impact of climate change. And often here, they are the ones whose voices is not really heard. And it goes back really to creating all those platforms and to have this sort of very inclusive approach to climate change.

Mark Watts  27:30  
Can I just comment on that? Because really, you know, it really struck me what Lauren was saying there. I'd love someone to do a study on this actually, because I would say anecdotally, the mayors that I've worked with that have been the bravest on climate have often been the ones that have the deepest relationship with young people in their city. So often institutionally, having youth councils, youth climate councils that have advised, I think Ana Hidalgo in Paris, definitely, Eric Garcetti in Los Angeles, Mayor Akhi-Sawyerr in Freetown, all the people I mentioned, they have really vibrant youth councils. And the mayors really listen to it. And it really affects them, what they're hearing from those young people.

Mark Maslin  28:08  
So if I summarise what both of you have said, we've got all the solutions, we've got the technology, we understand how we can actually support cities, make them more resilient. But it comes down to politics. It comes down to that vision, it comes down to that drive. And we've seen, Mark has illustrated, many politicians have changed their direction. They are visionary, we've seen a huge change in the last 10 years. But is climate change sustainability, the green economy, is that going to be a vote winner? Or is that something that you get into power and then you do it for the good because you suddenly have the ability? Or can we actually get people to vote for it? 
Who wants to answer…? I'm looking at them – you can't see me because this is a podcast. They're both looking at me going “I hate you, Mark”. Go on Lauren. What do you think? How can we make people vote for a better city?

Lauren Andres  29:10  
I really need to admit that I have some doubts with regard currently to what is happening and how the climate change agenda is going to be at the forefront of, I mean, the national policy and the strategies. And I think, my concern here is I was really hoping that with the pandemic, we would use the pandemic as a way really, for example, typically to take more of the cars out of the street. And in many places we are actually seeing the opposite. We're going actually backwards. So I think that's the key concern. And even though I think we would like ideally to move away of the political question, I think the responsibility here is on politicians. And it goes back to my point on scale here because I think mayors in general are really good in driving this agenda forward, the issue we’re facing is what is happening at national level. And I think the next US election here is very concerning in that respect. Because if the person we are thinking of is going again and going to be re-elected, what is going to happen again, with the US position on climate change? But going back, really to the key, very ambitious question from the start, I think we need to convince. We need to make people trust, we need to go and fight misinformation, because that's really a key issue. And we need to start by demonstrating what works at probably small scale, and really build blocks, build blocks to create this sort of nexus in a way, approach of why we all need to get mobilised against climate emergency. 

Mark Maslin  30:47  
So Mark, same question. Can sustainability ever be a vote winner?

Mark Watts  30:53  
Definitely, yes. And I see in one bit of evidence, is most of the mayors I work with in C40 are winning multiple terms. These are strong climate leaders who are getting re-elected. And you can certainly see on individual policies, I cut my teeth helping bring in the congestion charge in London. Everyone said at the time this was going to cost Ken Livingstone the election, the poll said it would cost him the election, but actually, because it worked, and it was successful, and most people benefit from it, he was handsomely re-elected a year after it was introduced. And I hope we're gonna see the same in London with ULEZ. I mean, certainly looking at the polls now, it is not remotely the negative issue that the Conservatives were hoping for. I think in the latest ITV poll, I saw 6% of people see ULEZ as a voting issue. So I think you can definitely neutralise. I think we can definitely say, and lots of politicians do fear this, taking strong action on sustaining environmental sustainability and climate change, doesn't have to be a vote loser. But it's only a vote winner if you really can connect it to people's day-to-day immediate well-being, and that there are jobs and that the air is cleaner for them and their kids right now. I don't think we're seeing any evidence anywhere yet that people are voting, sadly, voting for politicians who are looking out to save all of us for the whole long term future of humanity. Unfortunately, that level of consciousness just doesn't exist yet.

Simon Chin-Yee  32:18  
Okay, well, thank you so much, both for being here, Lauren, and Mark, but also for sharing your research and your policy. It's really important to understand what cities are doing against this climate crisis. So thank you very much for being with us.

Lauren Andres  32:32  
Thank you so much. It has been really interesting, and it has been a pleasure.

Mark Watts  32:37  
Thank you. Yeah, it's been really great fun, and I've got a new person on my list, Lauren that I now need to follow up with.

Mark Maslin  32:49  
That's it for this episode of Generation One from UCL, turning climate science and ideas into action. But stay tuned for the rest of the series, or listen on catch up to all our episodes on your favourite platform. If you'd like to ask a question or suggest a guest that you would like to hear on Generation One, you can email us on podcasts@ucl.ac.uk. Otherwise, for more information about UCL’s work on the climate space, and what our staff and students as well as our researchers are doing to create a more sustainable future, head to the UCL Generation One website, or follow us on social media #UCLGenerationOne.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai