2050: Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo – The Gardener

What is your job?

I am the Mayor of Mexico City. Every day, I strive to expand the outreach of public programs to guarantee all fundamental rights to our 9.2 million people. These include the right to education, to health, to water and sanitation, to housing, to security, and to a healthy natural environment. This means improving living conditions, for an inclusive and sustainable city.

How are you helping cool the planet through your work?  

We aim to be carbon-neutral and -resilient by 2050. Our goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 10% by 2024. We are already 81% of the way there based on our annual reduction of 1.78 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Of these, since 2019, our revegetation initiatives have captured 8,759 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. These include planting 26.7 million trees and other plants through our Green Challenge (#RetoVerde) campaign; the production and recovery of 80 native species that will be reintegrated into Mexico Valley’s ecosystems; 536 new gardens for pollinators with more than 31.3 thousand native plants; planting 236 thousand trees and plants in Mexico City’s Natural Protected Areas in 2021, with reforested surfaces making up 6.6% of these areas; and 16 new public green spaces though our Planting Parks (#SembrandoParques) program.

What most surprised you about your job?

The enthusiastic responses and responsible engagement of our people in improving our city’s living conditions. During the pandemic, for example, we never imposed fees, enforced quarantine, mandated face mask use, or required immunization. Yet we had the greatest compliance in these areas when compared to all other global cities. When called to engage in improving public schools, public areas, and cultural activities, we always receive a positive response. I am proud to be the mayor of a great city. 
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What can we do to get more young people into public service?

Improve education at all levels, from early child development to university. We also need to promote emotional and social education to strengthen the cultural values of solidarity, public service, and social commitment that we inherited from our ancestors. Being an academic and scientist, these values drew me into public service: a sense of commitment and social responsibility.


20 People Helping Cool the Planet by 2050

Carolyn Whelan

Carolyn is a writer, editor and analyst who covers the nexus between business and social justice issues. She broke into journalism at the Rio Earth Summit where she interviewed Al Gore and environmental pioneer David Brower. Topics covered since then range from climate change and higher education costs to drugs pricing, geopolitical strife, business ethics, artificial intelligence, gene editing, alternative energy and the search for good jobs -- and innovation in all these areas. Her pieces, reported from Europe, the US and South America have appeared in Fortune, Newsweek, the International Herald Tribune, the Wall Street Journal and SciAm.com. Previously she worked for the Economist Intelligence Unit, Barrons.com, Columbia Business School, WWF, the UN and PwC. Carolyn is fluent in French and Spanish and resides in Brooklyn.

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