Over 200 cities with a combined population of nearly 440 million have fixed emissions reduction targets to support national climate action pledges under the Paris Agreement.
US-based research organisation, Worldwatch Institute has launched a new report called ‘Can a City Be Sustainable?’, highlighting the climate efforts of a range of cities. The report covers the Chinese city of Shanghai, Melbourne in Australia, the Indian cities of Ahmedabad and Pune, and Vancouver in Canada.
Initiatives including the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and the Compact of Mayors have provided important frameworks for cities to collaborate on measures to boost clean transport, renewable energy, green buildings and energy efficiency.
Michael Renner and Tom Prugh, contributing authors and co-directors of the report, said: “The challenge over the next several decades is an enormous one… This requires not change around the edges, but a fundamental restructuring of how cities operate, how much they consume in resources and how much waste they produce, what they look like, and how they are structured.”
The report finds that future policies in cities will have to take into account issues including energy shortage and inefficient use, energy wastage of buildings, inadequate transport systems, waste management and recycling, deforestation, changes in land use and social injustice.
The historic meeting on climate change took place on April 22, 2016. More than 155 countries committed to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change at the headquarters of the United Nations (UN) in New York on this particular day. The agreement was also approved by the 196 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention of the Climate Change (UNFCCC) in COP21 in Paris on Dec. 12, 2015.
In the agreement, all countries pledged to work to limit the temperature rise overall below 2 degrees Celsius, but are aiming to achieve a temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius. They must also submit a proposal plan for actions, for the agreement to be effective.
The period for signatures will remain open for one year, so that all parties can sign to validate the Paris Agreement and to ratify it, of which the process is dependent on the internal practices of each country.