Press Release: New Research Shows Cities Have the Potential to Reduce Annual Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 8 Gigatons by 2050 Over Current National Targets
New York, 23 September 2014: UN Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael R. Bloomberg and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) Chair and Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes today announced new research that shows that if all cities took on aggressive new efforts to reduce building, transportation and waste energy use, they could potentially reduce annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by an additional 3.7 Gigatons (Gt) CO2e by 2030 over what national policies and actions are currently on track to achieve. By 2050, cities could cut annual GHG emissions by 8.0 Gt CO2e over what national policies are currently on track to achieve, the equivalent of cutting annual global coal use by more than half. Cumulatively, cities have the potential to reduce emissions by more than 140 Gt CO2e by 2050.
Special Envoy Bloomberg’s Report to the Secretary-General, which includes this new research in partnership with C40 and the Stockholm Environment Institute, underscores the importance of including cities’ climate efforts as nations set GHG reduction targets to prevent the world’s temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as part of the United Nations’ climate negotiations in 2015.
This also marks the first time all cities’ collective potential to reduce global GHGs has been quantified. The findings show that when city governments implement policies to reduce emissions from sectors they can control – namely, transportation, buildings and waste - their impact is significant. Cities, therefore, can help their nations achieve higher GHG targets and bridge the gap between current national commitments and those needed to prevent the global temperature rise, as nations agreed under the UN’s 2010 Cancun Agreement.