C40 Summit Video Blog Series: Matthew Pencharz, Senior Environment & Energy Advisor to the Mayor of London, Greater London Authority, on how C40 cities can make us healthier and wealthier

*Editor’s note: In partnership with the City of Johannesburg we conducted a series of video interviews with mayors, leading sustainability officials and partner thought leaders during the C40 Mayors Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa on February 4-6, 2014. Take a look at our growing catalogue of video blogs to date…and stay tuned for more over the coming weeks.

In a recent interview at the C40 Mayors Summit in Johannesburg, Senior Environment & Energy Advisor to the Mayor of London Matthew Pencharz discussed London’s rich history of participation in the C40, the importance of engaging cities in the developing world, and the benefits of not having to “reinvent the wheel” to tackle common challenges.

When London was launching its RE:FIT program to retrofit many of the city’s picturesque – but drafty – Victorian-era public buildings, it was particularly useful, Pencharz recalls, to see what other cities were already doing. “Through the C40 we set up some of the programs that are now delivering the biggest retrofit scheme London’s ever seen,” said Pencharz, adding that the program has been so successful, the central UK government wants to roll it out across the country.

He also highlighted the unique role C40 and its member cities can play in an increasingly urbanized world:

“As we become more urbanized the potential for C40 [cities] to work together to improve our economies to make us healthier and wealthier places, and mitigate and adapt to climate change — that’s where [the excitement] is. Because our national governments are further away from the people and aren’t as responsible, and are often buried, frankly, in international negotiations, but mayors and city governments are just getting on with it.”

Watch the full interview here: