Day 10 at COP26 is Cities, Regions & the Built Environment day, exploring how action can be accelerated by subnational leaders to mitigate emissions and create resilient communities.
Putting a down payment on climate action and environmental justice in Chicago
The City of Chicago recently grabbed headlines when its 2022 Budget was approved by the Chicago City Council. The budget covers a range of pressing issues facing the city, but the funding allocated for climate action and environmental justice are especially significant. The record-setting USD $188 million investment advances Chicago’s Green Recovery Agenda and represents the largest one-time climate investment in the city’s history.
Chicago’s historic announcement illustrates what cities can do when provided with direct access to significant federal funding, such as that offered by the American Rescue Plan, to implement climate action initiatives in local communities. Having conducted a series of Budget Stakeholder Meetings, Community Roundtables, and Budget Engagement Forums, Chicago’s approach also highlights the steps that cities can take to ensure the budget planning process is collaborative throughout.
Above all, Chicago’s budget achievement shows how climate action, when developed in coordination with communities, can address multiple crises facing cities today, from the direct impact of extreme weather exacerbated by the climate crisis, to making green energy and lower electricity rates available to residents who need them most.
Investors commit more than $1 billion USD to zero-emission buses in Latin America
Today at COP26, the Zero Emission Rapid-deployment Accelerator (ZEBRA) partnership announced that a coalition of financiers have committed to invest more than $1 billion USD in zero-emission bus fleets in Latin America. ZEBRA has been working over two years to gather these commitments from investors such as Ascendal, Enel X, VEMO and VGMobility.
Additionally, commitments from Volvo, Zhongtong, IUSA, Busscar and Rennorgy expand an already-established coalition of bus manufacturers and distributors that have committed to making zero-emission vehicles commercially available in Latin America and, where possible, locally produced.
Switching from diesel-powered to zero-emission buses leads to cleaner air and lower greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality and public health. With most of the CO2 emissions coming from the transportation sector, in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C, 100% of Latin American city bus fleets need to be zero-emission by 2030.
The ZEBRA partnership was launched in 2019 to accelerate the deployment of zero-emission buses in major Latin American cities. It is financed and facilitated by P4G and co-led by C40 Cities and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), with additional support from Centro Mario Molina-Chile, Clean Energy Works, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), and World Resources Institute (WRI).
Building back better
Building a better world together: accelerating deep collaboration for built environment climate action, hosted by UNFCCC, was today’s flagship event at COP26. The event brought together experts and global leaders to share insights on how to reach the common goal of halving emissions from the global construction sector by 2030.
Buildings and the construction sector are responsible for 40% of global carbon emissions. This equates to 14 gigatons of carbon, comparable to China’s yearly footprint, being released into the atmosphere each year.
Building a cleaner future for construction
C40 launched the Clean Construction Action Coalition today at COP26, which will harness expertise and solutions from across the construction value chain.
As well as 40 cities from the C40 network, this coalition includes 11 new companies working across the construction industry, including architects and manufacturers. Together, they will tackle the urgent challenge of emissions from the global construction sector.
Given that the construction sector is responsible for 23% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and takes up half of all extracted resources, tackling the carbon footprint of the built environment is crucial for limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees.
C40 receives millions in UK government funding to accelerate climate action
In a move that will help deliver meaningful climate action around the world, the UK government has announced £27.5 million in funding over the next four years for a new Urban Climate Action programme (UCAP) to support cities and regions in developing countries most impacted by climate change to accelerate their transition to net zero. The UCAP programme will be implemented through C40 and its partner, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Renewed support from the UK will allow C40 to accelerate the implementation of climate action plans in 15 C40 cities across Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America, from Quezon City to Nairobi and Bogota.
These plans focus on policies and projects that can deliver the most significant emissions and risk reductions, along with the widest benefits in support of a green and just recovery from COVID-19. The funds will also help the C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF) to facilitate access to finance for the development of mitigation and resilience projects in cities.
“This is the single most important decade for climate action, and every commitment we make to boost our ambition needs to be backed with the resources to make it possible,” said C40 Chair and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “This new funding agreement from the UK government will put policy into practice for our boldest climate goals — from cleaning the air and creating new economic opportunities for our residents to improving access to sustainable solutions for cities most impacted by the climate crisis.”