Better economic growth can help close the greenhouse gas emissions gap, according to a new report released today by the New Climate Economy, the flagship project of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. 'Seizing the Global Opportunity: Partnerships for Better Growth and a Better Climate' identifies 10 key areas of economic opportunity that can achieve as much as 96% of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed by 2030 to keep global warming under 2 degrees Celsius.

The report calls for the scaling up of city-level partnerships like C40 and initiatives like the Compact of Mayors in order to accelerate low-carbon development in the world’s cities. In addition, it says that multilateral development banks, donors and others should develop an integrated package of at least US$1 billion for technical assistance, capacity building and finance to support commitments by the world’s largest 500 cities. Altogether, low-carbon urban actions available today could save around US$17 trillion globally by 2050, and could reduce annual GHG emissions by 3.7 Gt CO2e by 2030.

C40 Chair, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes said on the report’s findings:

“Low-carbon cities represent a US$17 trillion economic opportunity. Compact, connected, and coordinated cities can generate stronger growth and increase the health and wellbeing of urban citizens. Cities around the world are already leading the way in implementing sustainable and innovative urban solutions, from better mobility systems that reduce traffic and pollution to enhanced measures to treat waste. By sharing and scaling-up these best practices, cities can accelerate global climate action and help close the emissions gap." 

The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate comprises 28 leaders from government business, and finance from 20 countries. C40 Mayors Paes and Annise Parker of Houston are members. In 2014, the Commission released the groundbreaking Better Growth, Better Climate report that helped shift the global debate around climate action and economic growth.

The latest conclusions are being presented to leaders and decision-makers around the world to further inform the debate and stimulate smart climate action on the road to COP 21 in Paris and beyond.

Read the official press release, as well as additional words of support for the report from global policymakers, business leaders and climate experts, here.


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