How to save your city from climate change
Posted On July 9, 2021
By 2020, the world is projected to emit 4.5 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent, a quarter of the world’s total, and the global climate will be expected to become more acidic, according to a report from the United Nations Environment Programme.
Key points:The report by the UN Environment Programme says the world will reach the halfway point of CO4 emissions by 2040The report, called The Roadmap to a Green Century, shows how cities can tackle climate change to save themFrom the beginning of the 20th century, the development of the industrialised world began to shift away from agriculture to cities.
Now, the trend is changing again, with the majority of the population now living in cities, with more people moving into towns and suburbs.
But it is still too early to say whether the world as a whole will reach that goal.
According to the report, the pace of CO-related CO2 emissions in the developed world is set to increase by nearly threefold from the year 2020, driven largely by the increase in population and urbanisation.
While the report did not provide a timeline for when cities would have to adapt to the new carbon intensity of their urban environments, the report predicts that cities will have to start reducing their CO2 intensity by 2035 to avoid becoming the second largest greenhouse gas emitter after the US.
“Urban areas will have the most significant CO2-emissions impact in the coming decades,” the report said.
“If they are to avoid being the second biggest greenhouse gas emitters, they must take significant steps to address their CO-exposed environments.”
“The need to adapt is greater than ever,” said Dr James Wilson, the UNEP’s lead author and a professor of climate change and urban development at the University of Queensland.
“We need cities to do more than just plan for and build more.”
In this century, urban areas are the major drivers of climate-related emissions.
“Dr Wilson said the report identified two areas where cities could make the most progress in reducing their carbon footprint.
One area of the report focused on how cities could tackle the challenges of adapting to the growing CO2 in their environment.”
The two main pathways for achieving this include: increasing energy efficiency, and reducing urban emissions,” the UN report said, while also highlighting the need for cities to build more homes and offices to reduce CO2, as well as the need to develop more affordable housing.
Dr Wilson also said that urban communities had the capacity to adapt quickly to climate change, and that the UNDP was working to help communities around the world.”
While the Paris Agreement requires that cities implement CO2 reduction strategies to meet the goals of the Agreement, cities can play an important role in building resilience to the challenges that climate change poses,” Dr Wilson said.
In addition, Dr Wilson also noted that the cost of climate action, including mitigation costs and the financial impact of climate impacts, was becoming increasingly difficult to ignore.”
Climate change is already a significant problem in the global economy, and it is clear that cities must become part of the solution,” Dr Jeroen van Loon, UNEP executive director and lead author of the study, said.