COP21 must prioritize cities in developing countries. Here’s why.
As we look ahead to the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris at the end of this year, nations, cities and individuals are looking for ways to ensure the talks are a success. From a city perspective, that means ramping up the avenues in which cities can share their challenges and solutions with an emphasis on efforts in developing countries.
Last week, C40’s Director of Research, Measurement & Planning Seth Schultz participated in a Guardian expert panel on the question of how to expand renewable energy access in developing countries. Through the discussion, a few particularly salient moments stood out, including a comment from Seth:
“While much of the debate on an international agreement has focused on a small number of the world’s biggest economies (China and the US) it is the developing nations that are critical in the long haul. We have more than 50% of the world’s population living in cities right now and that is projected to swell past 70% by 2050. This mass migration of humans into urban areas is happening in developing countries and will lead to more people on the electrical grid than off of it. Thus, the goals and targets that developing nations commit to are incredibly important.”
Likewise, as we at C40 and our partner networks prepare for COP21, we are looking to help all cities accelerate their progress towards cutting carbon emissions, measuring progress and preparing for the effects of climate change.
In a recent interview with GreenBiz, C40 Chair and Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes highlighted that very issue:
“We are preparing a big event in Paris [Climate Summit for Local Leaders] in parallel to the U.N. meeting where we are going to show strong commitment. Currently, we are working on the next step, which is giving the means to further actions in cities, as for example, funding and leveraging resources to low carbon development.”