Helping the Environment and Saving Money: The Economist Reports on C40 Cities in the United States

The climate change actions of C40 Cities are “not only environmentally sound...[but] also save taxpayers money” says an article featured this week in The Economist magazine, which focused on the US contingent of the global network.

Rather than being driven by “a good outcome in the distant future,” urban policy-makers and communities are looking to address immediate challenges such as aging fleets and infrastructure, higher fuel costs, and population growth. Citing Chicago’s green roofs, which absorb heat and rainfall, many of the strategies cities embrace are in fact relatively “simple tweaks.”

A key factor of success lies in tailoring climate change policy to local needs and opportunities. Targeting the uptake of bicycle lanes makes more sense for Portland than Los Angeles, for example; while wetlands and coastal issues feature prominently in New York’s PlaNYC, the article notes.

Even so, C40 Cities benefit enormously from sharing goals -- and knowledge. “The C40 is unique as a multinational peer learning network,” says Rohit T. Aggarwala, Special Advisor to the Chair, C40 Cities. “London, Tokyo, Johannesburg and Jakarta, by the virtue of the fact that they are large cities – and the centers of finance and media for their nations -- actually have very similar problems that smaller cities might not share, or that large cities and small cities have to do differently.”

C40 Cities in the US

Austin, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle