Can cities lead in the fight against Climate Change? And, if so where and how would they do so?
Absolutely. Based on facts provided by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group the case for city leadership on climate change is strong:
- Cities consume over two‐thirds of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions, the most prevalent of the greenhouse gases (GHG).
- Cities are growing ‐‐ more than half of the world’s population now lives in cities and by 2050 this figure will rise to three‐quarters.
- Cities are vulnerable to climate change: 75% of urban settlements are located in coastal areas at risk from sea‐level rise, for example.
In addition, cities and local governments are gaining more powers across the world, which means they have more opportunities to make inroads against Climate Change. For many cities transport and traffic congestion is a large contributor of carbon emissions. By reducing traffic congestion and promoting the use of public transport, cities are already taking a lead role in the fight against Climate Change. In addition cities are playing a larger role in the investment and operation of public transport, which suggests that this is already one area where a major difference can be made in the medium term.
Siemens and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) recently announced the 29 finalist cities competing in 10 categories for the initial City Climate Leadership Awards, which provide global recognition for C40 Cities that are demonstrating climate action leadership. The winners will be named at the Awards presentation event in London, at the Crystal on September 4, 2013.
“Around the world, city leaders are not wasting time debating the science of climate change or waiting around for international treaties to be signed; we are taking action. There’s simply too much to do and too much at stake.” – Mayor Bloomberg, New York
The award categories range from Urban Transportation, to Waste Management to Air Quality but also include interesting categories like Finance & Economic Development and Adaptation and Resilience. An independent, seven-member judging panel consisting of former city Mayors, architects and representatives of the World Bank, C40 and Siemens will select the award winners.
The finalists identified are:
- Asia & Oceania:
Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Melbourne, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo
Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, London, Munich, Oslo, Paris, Rotterdam, Stockholm
- North America:
Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco
- South America:
Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo
Image courtesy of kevin dooley at flickr.com
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