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When Major Cities decide to address the Challenge of Climate Change

By C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group -, Public Domain,

The C40 Association -94 major cities around the world- including Boston, Durban, London, Los-Angeles, Mexico-City, New-York city and Paris is leading the way in the combat against climate change. The main objectives of the plans developed by these municipal authorities are to reduce traffic jams, reduce air and noise pollution and save energy. It is the Capital of Denmark that has the best record when it comes to fighting greenhouse gases. Indeed, over the past 30 years CO2 emissions have declined by 60% in Copenhagen! The intensive use of public transport and the huge development of bicycle lanes explain, at least in part, this excellent result (Re.C40). Of course, even the world’s largest cities do not have full autonomy and are depending on governments to both battle climate change and adapt to its effects. And the fact is that key decisions are still being taken at the national level. Yet, many experts believe that the big cities mayors should be empowered to make more decisions in this field. Today cities are home to 54% of the global population and it is estimated that by 2050 68 % of the global population will live in urban areas (Re.WEF). Other reports suggest that cities are responsible for 75% of global carbon emissions (Re.INEP). However, many big cities around the globe made undeniable progress in the field of transportation and mobility. Now, tackling climate change seriously in urban areas also requires strict policies regarding the buildings construction sector. The energy performance of buildings is at the core of this strategy. It is estimated that thanks to new technologies and new construction materials, buildings could be by 2040 nearly 40% more energy efficient than today (Re.IEA). The world’s biggest cities could even emerge as new leaders towards climate change.

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