A Global Opportunity for Cities to Lead

In terms of size, cities occupy only two percent of the world’s landmass. But in terms of climate impact, they leave an enormous footprint. Cities consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions. And with 90 percent of the world’s urban areas situated on coastlines, cities are at high risk from some of the devastating impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels and powerful coastal storms.

As part of the climate change problem, cities also have the opportunity to be integral to its solution.

Cities are on the frontlines of global climate change and are also well-positioned to play a leadership role in driving global action to address climate change.

Nimble city governments often have closer relationships with their businesses, residents and institutions than state and national governments, allowing new policies to be implemented more quickly and decisively.

C40 Cities are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly and provide proven models that other cities and national governments can adopt.

For centuries, cities have helped foster some of mankind’s greatest ideas. It is no stretch of the imagination to believe that cities will now take the lead in addressing climate change.

Infographic: Addressing Climate Change Begins in the City