The World Bank: "Cities on the Frontline for Climate Action"

The World Bank's website has a great update on the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group Mayors Summit, cities' increasing role in combating climate change, and the World Bank's new study "Climate Change, Disaster Risk and the Urban Poor."

The World Bank writes:

The C40 cities are already acting to combat climate change and have pledged to work together on energy efficiency, clean energy programs, adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Sao Paulo, the host city of the C40 summit, wants to reduce greenhouse emissions by 30 percent by 2012 and has started an ambitious waste management program. "The city produces daily 16,000 tons of waste," explained Mayor Gilberto Kassab. "We capture the methane gas produced by the waste and turn it into power."

Other cities are taking similar action. Mexico City was the first city in Latin America to launch a local climate change strategy and Jakarta has started incorporating risk reduction into long-term spacial planning for the city. Dar es Salaam is upgrading slums and providing basic services to poor neighborhoods.

Often, the best way to find local solutions is through community participation. That's how Quelimane in Mozambique, a city prone to flooding, improved water and sanitation conditions for poor residential neighborhoods. In Iliolo province in the Philippines, a community-based project addresses disaster risk management the local level.

A new agreement between the World Bank and the C40, signed during the Sao Paulo summit, will strengthen cooperation between the two organizations focusing on city climate action plans and standardized reporting of city greenhouse gas emissions. Common international metrics will help to better track progress against targets.  Equally important, metrics will facilitate cities' access to private finance that pays for carbon mitigation or supports climate adaptation.

The C40 Summit continues today with sessions on topics including bicycle infrastructure and citywide programs, adaptation and vulnerability, green industry investment, and sustainable development.