Greenhouse gas emissions have already peaked in 30 major cities

emissions__

(Zoya Loonohod, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Rosamond Hutt, Senior Writer, Formative Content


Greenhouse gas emissions have already peaked, and are continuing to fall, in 30 major cities including New York, London and Paris.

Austin, Athens, Lisbon and Venice are the latest places to hit that milestone in the fight against climate change, according to analysis from C40, a coalition of 94 large and influential cities around the world working to limit global warming and protect the environment.

 

Cities are home to growing numbers of people. By 2050, 68% of the world’s population will live in urban areas, up from 55% today. Cities consume 78% of the world’s energy and produce more than 60% of greenhouse gas emissions. That means they have a critical role to play in helping the world to limit dangerous climate change.

But, almost four years after nearly 200 countries signed the Paris Agreement, the world is still seriously off-track from meeting its goals. Global emissions hit a record high in 2018.

Green leaders

The good news is that many cities are stepping up efforts to address the climate crisis.

To keep the increase in Earth’s temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has calculated that emissions must peak by 2020.

Nearly one-third of all C40 cities have already hit that target, with more projected to reach peak emissions by 2020.

And since reaching that marker, those 30 cities, which together are home to more than 58 million people, have gone on to cut their emissions by an average of 22%.

Emissions in San Francisco, California, peaked in 2000 and have been declining steadily since. The city has committed to achieving 100% renewable energy by 2030, and today 77% of its electricity supply comes from greenhouse-gas-free sources.

Emissions in San Francisco have fallen in cities since the millennium.
Image: C40

Copenhagen has cut its emissions by up to 61% from peak levels in 1991 and aims to become the world’s first carbon-neutral capital by 2025.

The Danish capital is known for its wind turbines, efficient public transport and being the world’s most bike-friendly city: almost one-third (29%) of all journeys around the city are made by bike.

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about the transition to clean energy?

Moving to clean energy is key to combatting climate change, yet in the past five years, the energy transition has stagnated. Energy consumption and production contribute to two-thirds of global emissions, and 81% of the global energy system is still based on fossil fuels, the same percentage as 30 years ago.

Effective policies, private-sector action and public-private cooperation are needed to create a more inclusive, sustainable, affordable and secure global energy system.

Benchmarking progress is essential to a successful transition. The World Economic Forum’s Energy Transition Index, which ranks 115 economies on how well they balance energy security and access with environmental sustainability and affordability, shows that the biggest challenge facing energy transition is the lack of readiness among the world’s largest emitters, including US, China, India and Russia. The 10 countries that score the highest in terms of readiness account for only 2.6% of global annual emissions.

To future-proof the global energy system, the Forum’s Shaping the Future of Energy initiative is working with projects including the Partnering for Sustainable Energy Innovation, the Future of Electricity, the Global Battery Alliance and Scaling Renewable Energy to encourage and enable innovative energy investments, technologies and solutions.

Is your organisation interested in working with the World Economic Forum? Find out more here.

But crucially, the city has also expanded its district heating system, which means it can generate heat for entire neighbourhoods rather than individual households and businesses. And it has now introduced a district cooling system.

Copenhagen recently hosted the seventh C40 World Mayors Summit, at which leaders of the 94 member cities recognized the climate emergency and gave their backing to the Global New Green Deal.

The initiative commits cities to keeping global warming below the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement, which will require peaking emissions by 2020 and halving them by 2030.

The 30 cities that have already hit peak emissions are: Athens, Austin, Barcelona, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Copenhagen, Heidelberg, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Melbourne, Milan, Montréal, New Orleans, New York City, Oslo, Paris, Philadelphia, Portland, Rome, San Francisco, Stockholm, Sydney, Toronto, Vancouver, Venice, Warsaw, and Washington DC.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

TTIP: why it is worth not to pull the covers over your head?

This is what CEOs around the world see as the biggest risks to business

Can privatisation be the panacea for the lack of growth in Europe?

The European Commission to stop Buffering

Security: better access to data for border control and migration management

Smart city experts should be looking to emerging markets. Here’s why

168 hours left for MEPs – ECOFIN Council to deliver a Banking Union

EU seeks foreign support on 5G from Mobile World Congress 2015 as the “digital gold rush” begins

The Chinese solar panels suddenly became too cheap for Europe

Young and unemployed the perfect victims of ‘vultures’

Miguel Arias Cañete European Commission

EU should invest more in climate and not sit back on its laurels and watch

‘Two pack’ austerity package in force but with less vigor

China Unlimited – The chinese tourism in Lisbon

Tackling Youth Unemployment

Close to final agreement on the EU Banking Union

5 trends in the global economy – and their implications for economic policymakers

Can Pakistan make its energy sector greener, cheaper and more reliable? The government thinks so

Brussels terrorist attacks: Schengen in danger once again while leaders gather Europe’s multiple broken pieces

In Rwanda, high-speed drones are delivering blood to remote communities

7 key challenges for the future of ASEAN – and how to solve them

Liaison Officer – 2020

3 ways we are making an impact on plastic pollution

80,000 youngsters at risk in DRC after forcible expulsion from Angola: UNICEF

UN warns of ‘deteriorating climate’ for human rights defenders in Guatemala

Paris, Washington, IMF against Berlin and ECB on money and interest

Trump asked Merkel to pay NATO arrears and cut down exports ignoring the EU

Coal addiction ‘must be overcome’ to ease climate change, UN chief says in Bangkok

EU’s guidelines on net neutrality see the light although grey areas do remain

Terrorist content online should be removed within one hour, says EP

European Citizens’ Initiative: A game of much publicity and one big lie

In the age of the tourism backlash, we need ‘destination stewards’

UN gears up emergency food aid for hurricane-struck region of Bahamas, as death toll rises

‘Going green’ is good business says private sector at UN’s COP24 climate conference

Syria: A bloody tracer of Trump – Putin rapprochement

Quicker freezing and confiscation of criminal assets in the EU

Germany fears that Americans and Russians want to partition Europe again

7 ways to break the fast fashion habit – and save the planet

Eurozone: The crisis hit countries are again subsidizing the German and French banks

What the Amazon rain forest tells us about globalization

5 things to know about the Western Balkans

Mental health at stake: A silent epidemic of 21st century

Trump ostracized by his party and world elites but still remains in course; how can he do it?

Parliament commemorates the victims of the Holocaust

Adriatic Sea: MEPs adopt multiannual plan for fisheries

G7 summit: Trump Vs. G6 leaders on trade and climate change

UN experts urge United Arab Emirates to release terminally ill woman to live her last days ‘in dignity’

Thousands flee fresh violence in South Sudan, many ‘suffering from trauma’

How UN cultural treasures helped set the stage for Game of Thrones

GSMA Announces Speakers for Mobile 360 – Russia & CIS 2018

This city is planting a tree for every man, woman and child

President Juncker temporarily transfers portfolio responsibilities following departure of two Members of the European Commission

The power of trust and values in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

‘Massive and protracted’ humanitarian crisis in DR Congo can be ‘beaten back’ if donors step up

Why cooperative and competitive federalism is the secret to India’s success

Can free trade deliver cheaper renewable energy? Ask Mexico

A for-profit project has improved nutrition in Rwanda – is it a model that can eliminate hunger across Africa?

G20: Less growth, more austerity for developing countries

Digital development: technology-enabled, but human-centric

3 charts that show the economics of European football

DR Congo: Strengthened effort against Ebola is paying off, but insecurity still major constraint – UN health agency

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s