Wuhan and Shenzhen will become the first cities in China to develop comprehensive inventories of their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by using a global and UN recognized standard. Supported by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, of which both cities are members and the World Resources Institute (WRI), the inventories will use the international gold standard, the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC). This process, made possible with funding from the British philanthropy Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), is a crucial step towards understanding and reducing a city’s emissions.
The announcement was made at the Second China-U.S. Climate-Smart / Low-Carbon Cities Summit in Beijing, where mayors of Chinese and American cities, including Boston, Wuhan and Shenzhen have come together to share ideas and best practices on tackling climate change.
The United States and China signed the Paris Agreement on April 22nd and have committed to take their respective domestic steps in order to join the Agreement as early as possible in 2016. Cities in each country will play a key role in ensuring the aims of the Agreement are put into action in the crucial years ahead.
“Cities are the main battlefield for the fight against climate change,” said Wuhan Mayor Wan Yong. “Wuhan is committed to developing in the most environmentally and sustainable way possible. Understanding our greenhouse gas emissions is a crucial part of that.”
“Shenzhen is one of the world’s fastest growing cities and it is committed to low carbon development,” said Bella Liu, Secretary, Shenzhen Green & Low-Carbon Development Foundation. “By preparing greenhouse gas emissions inventories that meet the GPC standard, Shenzhen will be able to benchmark against other great cities around the world."
“Shenzhen and Wuhan are pioneers amongst Chinese cities in committing to produce robust and accurate inventories of their emissions,” said C40 Chair and Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes. “Their commitment to act on climate change will inspire others across China and beyond, and help secure a climate safe world for all.”
“Our ambition is to establish as a norm the consistent and robust measurement and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions in cities across the world,” said Shirley Rodrigues, Climate Change Executive Director, CIFF. “This will enable cities to identify key emissions sources quickly and prioritise fast emissions reduction actions that would allow cities to peak emissions as soon as possible. This will make our cities low carbon, sustainable and climate-safe for us, our children, and our children’s children. The leadership shown by Wuhan and Shenzhen is a vital first step for C40 cities across China.”
C40’s Technical Assistance Programme is currently available to 30 C40 member cities in Africa, Latin America and Asia. The programme aims to assist cities in compiling a GHG emissions inventory, establish targets for emissions reduction and develop robust climate change action plans. By taking action in three areas – building energy, transport and planning – these 30 cities, including Wuhan and Shenzhen, have the potential to decrease global GHG cumulative emissions by around 4.8 GtCO2e by 2030.
C40’s support is tailored to the needs of Wuhan and Shenzhen, commencing work in June 2016. Throughout the next two years, C40 in partnership with WRI will provide Wuhan and Shenzhen with training, workshops, tools, webinars and on-going support from expert city climate planners. This support will help the cities build the knowledge, skills and capacity needed to support the global effort to tackle climate change.