The Guardian commends C40 Cities for ‘bypassing slow government’
The Guardian’s Mike Scott attended the C40 & Siemens City Climate Leadership Awards last week. Today, the leading paper ran an in-depth piece called “Cities bypass slow government to lead the way on climate change,” which emphasizes how cities are embracing the challenge of fighting climate change, even as national governments remain stalled in high-level talks.
"If we want to win the war against climate change, it has to be won in cities," said Roland Busch, head of Cities and Infrastructure at Siemens. "…A city is like a human organism – everything has to work together. A comprehensive view of infrastructure, disregarding silos, is the key to the future development of cities."
Speaking to a wide range of distinguished participants at the Awards event, the author notes that while the trend of increasing urbanization brings new challenges to cities, it also presents new opportunities to make changes that will have an enormous global impact. He cites a new report from McKinsey – How to make a city great – which argues that leaders who make important strides in improving their cities do three things really well: achieve smart growth, do more with less, and win support for change.
To this list, Scott adds knowledge-sharing and collaboration of the kind happening daily across the C40 network “in a way that national governments do not seem to be [doing].” He also calls out the importance of measurement and climate action planning by cities, citing the example of the Northern City of Oslo, which discovered to its surprise that along with heating in the winter, cooling buildings in summer was a significant source of emissions.
By refusing to wait for national governments, cities are taking action now, and having an impact on climate change globally, the piece concludes.
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