(Amsterdam) The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) released two landmark reports on June 7th that underline the critical role played by cities in confronting climate change. The complementary reports were published to coincide with the C40 Cities Summit being held this year in Sao Paulo, Brazil (May 31 – June 2). Representatives of the core C40 cities are attending the event with delegates from cities affiliated with the global climate group and a host of international experts to discuss strategies for building a low carbon future. The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group releases two complementary reports to help megacities mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts. Arup produces one of the reports that details how cities are already confronting climate change and highlights opportunities for action.
The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is an organization of large and engaged cities from around the world committed to implementing meaningful and sustainable climate-related policies locally that will help address climate change concerns globally. The current Chair is New York City Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg.
The key reports published: • CDP Cities 2011: Global Report on C40 Cities – co-developed by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and C40, and; • Climate Action in Megacities: C40 Cities Baseline and Opportunities – by Arup and C40.
The reports mean that for the first time ever, cities have public disclosure and analysis of data on community-wide greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), creating a standardized measurement baseline.
The Arup report then outlines the range of actions that C40 cities are already taking on mitigation and adaptation, as well as setting out the opportunities for making further progress.
Arup Director, Mark Watts, said:
“This report demonstrates that cities really matter when it comes to taking action on climate change. Mayors have real powers in the right places and the report documents how the world’s 40 leading Mayors are using these levers to cut carbon emissions. There is a wealth of quantitative information here about what works, how it has been delivered, and the opportunities for extending successful action around the world to help us all move toward a low carbon future.”
Rohit T. Aggarwala, Special Advisor to the Chair, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, added:
“The best scientific data tells us that it is long past time to address this challenge, and the best demographic data tells us that cities must lead the way. The CDP Cities 2011 and Climate Action in Megacities reports provide solid data that demonstrate that the C40 Cities are leading the way — in reporting emissions, developing climate action plans, and, most importantly, in taking action. These reports will inform the strategic direction of C40 programs and initiatives; help build networks of Cities with similar profiles and agendas; and help C40 City officials make decisions about what actions they should prioritize. These reports also set the baseline so that in the future we will know how much more the C40 Cities have done.”
The C40 cities covered by the Arup study represent $10.6 trillion in economic activity at purchasing power parity and 297 million residents.
The key findings from the Arup report indicate that: • C40 Cities are already taking significant climate action, with mayors currently overseeing 4,734 climate change actions, with 1,465 more under consideration. • C40 mayors have the greatest scope for taking action in areas including energy demand in buildings, transportation and waste management. • Among the popular actions taken by C40 cities to date are the improvement of cycling infrastructure; the introduction of bus rapid transit systems; and the reduction of energy demand in buildings by promoting energy efficient light bulbs.