Cities to set the pace and scope of progress until COP21 deal kicks in
C40 and Arup identify priority climate actions for cities over the next five years
The world’s greatest cities are taking decisive action right now on climate change; and they’re just getting started. With more support from national political leaders and increased resources and financing their progress could increase threefold.
Research published today by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) and Arup identifies the 27,000 specific activities, programmes, procurements, and policies that cities could implement over the coming years. This shows the vast potential in our cities. Of these, C40 has identified 2,300 high -impact, readily deliverable actions that could save a massive 450 MtCO2 by 2020, equivalent to the annual emissions of the United Kingdom, and could be unlocked with just $6.8bn.
Published against the backdrop of the crucial COP21 climate negotiations, the findings of Potential for Climate Action are striking because they represent the actions that mayors and civic leaders can and will deliver regardless of the results of intergovernmental efforts to agree a treaty on carbon emissions and before any COP21 agreement kicks in, in 2020.
“The road from COP21 is now clear because we understand very concretely the further action cities can take to make a global impact in tackling climate change,” said C40 Chair Mayor of Rio de Janeiro Eduardo Paes. “The leadership of cities is unequivocal, but there is no question that barriers remain – the most significant being access to finance and a need for greater governmental co-ordination. Fortunately, C40 is leading the way on both fronts, providing solutions and a model for collaboration that will enable cities to reach their full potential to slash carbon emissions in the critical years ahead.”
The next five years are critical. Previous C40 and Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) research showed that, based on current trends of consumption and infrastructure development, within five years the world will have “locked-in” sufficient future emissions to exceed the globally safe carbon budget and take us beyond the 2 degree temperature rise threshold. Cities are key because one third of these emissions will be determined by decisions made in cities, making mayors in office right now pivotal actors in delivering a global solution.
Since the last major COP in Copenhagen, C40 cities have taken 10,000 climate actions – a doubling of actions in just six years – and have committed to reduce their CO2 emissions by 3 Gt CO2 by 2030, equivalent to the annual carbon output of India.