Roadmap for Climate Action Unleashes Cities Potential to Cut Global Carbon Emissions
C40 released a report Monday that provides a roadmap for specific climate action that cities should take in 2016 and beyond. C40 and partner Arup released the report, Potential for Climate Action, at an event at Le Bourget alongside the COP21 climate negotiations.
This report is significant because it both analyzes the most important specifications that major cities can take to cut carbon emissions and it identifies the barriers that need to be removed if mayors are to achieve them. The member cities of the C40 represent a combined population of more than 600 million people and a quarter of world economic output. What happens in these cities will significantly dictate whether or not the world can tackle climate change.
The key findings are that, while C40 cities have already taken 10,000 climate actions between Copenhagen COP15 in 2009 and Paris COP21 in 2015, the potential for further delivery is much greater—a pool of 27,000 actions. The report analyzes each of these potential actions against three factors, the opportunity learn from their peers (ie has another city already done it), having mayoral power to deliver and scale of potential GHG reduction impact. This allows us to identify 2,300 priority actions which, if fully implemented, will cut GHG emissions by 450Mt CO2 in the next few years and will cost $6.8 billion to catalyze. This is a relatively modest sum, but this analysis shows that access to funding is the single biggest obstacle to cities delivering greater climate action.
Thanks to our speakers & panelists @MayorOfTshwane @ArronWood @mpencharz @paula_kirk #RoadFromParis #COP21 https://t.co/VXt4XhrdzX— C40 Cities (@C40 Cities)1449579541.0
The report finds that fully three-quarters of the barriers to taking these potential actions require city leaders to partner with other actors—chiefly national/regional governments or private companies. It provides further evidence that a collaborative approach is essential to tackling climate change—the essence of C40's work. Finally, it will serve as a building block from which we can engage many other partners in this endeavor. Published against the backdrop of the crucial COP21 talks, it provides a positive reminder of the significant potential for climate action in addition to that which the Paris agreement will, hopefully, unlock.
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They are among the largest trees in the world, descendants of forests where dinosaurs roamed.
Pixabay / Simi Luft<p><span>Until recently, measuring these trees meant scaling their 80 meter high trunks with a tape measure. Now, a team of scientists from University College London and the University of Maryland uses advanced laser scanning, to create 3D maps and calculate the total mass.</span></p><p>The results are striking: suggesting the trees <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">may be as much as 30% larger than earlier measurements suggested.</a> Part of that could be due to the additional trunks the Redwoods can grow as they age, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a process known as reiteration</a>.</p>
New 3D measurements of large redwood trees for biomass and structure. Nature / UCL<p>Measuring the trees more accurately is important because carbon capture will probably play a key role in the battle against climate change. Forest <a href="https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/09/carbon-sequestration-natural-forest-regrowth" target="_blank">growth could absorb billions of tons</a> of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.</p><p>"The importance of big trees is widely-recognised in terms of carbon storage, demographics and impact on their surrounding ecosystems," the authors wrote<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank"> in the journal Nature</a>. "Unfortunately the importance of big trees is in direct proportion to the difficulty of measuring them."</p><p>Redwoods are so long lived because of their ability to <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cope with climate change, resist disease and even survive fire damage</a>, the scientists say. Almost a fifth of their volume may be bark, which helps protect them.</p>
Carbon Capture Champions<p><span>Earlier research by scientists at Humboldt University and the University of Washington found that </span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112716302584" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Redwood forests store almost 2,600 tonnes of carbon per hectare</a><span>, their bark alone containing more carbon than any other neighboring species.</span></p><p>While the importance of trees in fighting climate change is widely accepted, not all species enjoy the same protection as California's coastal Redwoods. In 2019 the world lost the equivalent of <a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">30 soccer fields of forest cover every minute</a>, due to agricultural expansion, logging and fires, according to The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).</p>
Pixabay<p>Although <a href="https://c402277.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/publications/1420/files/original/Deforestation_fronts_-_drivers_and_responses_in_a_changing_world_-_full_report_%281%29.pdf?1610810475" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the rate of loss is reported to have slowed in recent years</a>, reforesting the world to help stem climate change is a massive task.</p><p><span>That's why the World Economic Forum launched the Trillion Trees Challenge (</span><a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a><span>) and is engaging organizations and individuals across the globe through its </span><a href="https://uplink.weforum.org/uplink/s/uplink-issue/a002o00000vOf09AAC/trillion-trees" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Uplink innovation crowdsourcing platform</a><span> to support the project.</span></p><p>That's backed up by research led by ETH Zurich/Crowther Lab showing there's potential to restore tree coverage across 2.2 billion acres of degraded land.</p><p>"Forests are critical to the health of the planet," according to <a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a>. "They sequester carbon, regulate global temperatures and freshwater flows, recharge groundwater, anchor fertile soil and act as flood barriers."</p><p><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Reposted with permission from the </em><span><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/03/redwoods-store-more-co2-and-are-more-enormous-than-we-thought/" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a>.</em></span></p>
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