The Fifth Estate
EUROPE: Cities around the world are taking action, even in the US where 30 cities now have stringent energy measures in their building codes. Now we know that an investment of $1.83 trillion a year in 16 low-carbon measures in cities – about 2 per cent of global GDP – could reduce global urban emissions by 90 per cent by 2050.
The figures come from a report by the Coalition for Urban Transitions entitled Climate Emergency, Urban Opportunity: How national governments can secure economic prosperity and avert climate catastrophe by transforming cities which was released ahead of the Climate Action Summit in New York.
“In absolute terms, these savings are greater than the combined 2014 energy-related emissions of the two largest emitters, China and the US,” it says, and it presents a clear six-part action plan for national governments around the world.
Zero carbon cities offer a powerful lever to secure economic prosperity and boost living standards across a country. Such cities can both drive economic prosperity and effectively play their part in addressing the global climate emergency.
The 16 measures lie in the building, transport, materials, and waste sectors, with transport being the easiest and most cost-effective to decarbonise. Here we look at four of them available to city authorities.