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World's Largest Cities Expand Climate Change Policies and Investments

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World's Largest Cities Expand Climate Change Policies and Investments

Some of the world's largest cities have met growing concerns about climate change with a growing amount of financial and political investments to combat it.

The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) and Arup released research Wednesday that shows a trend of promoting and accelerating climate action in megacities—C40 members with populations of 10 million or more. Climate actions include implementing energy efficiency regulations for buildings, instituting bus rapid transit lines, flood mapping efforts and initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The C40 includes 63 cities that have a combined population of about  600 million people and 5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Graphic credit: C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

“Mayors have real power to cut emissions and improve climate resilience, and they are taking action,” C40 chairman and Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes said at the group’s Mayors Summit in Johannesburg Wednesday.

“C40’s networks and efforts on measurement and reporting are accelerating city-led action at a transformative scale around the world.”

The cities have reported more than 8,000 climate actions that have been implemented, with 41 percent taking place all over their cities, according to the report.

With 1,812 actions, cities reported more energy efficiency actions than any other type. Ninety percent of the actions involved outdoor lighting, including 69 percent that try to reduce energy demand.

Graphic credit: C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

Other C40 findings include:

  • Reported actions have nearly doubled from 4,734 since 2011.
  • Ninety-eight percent of reporting cities say climate change presents significant risks to their populations and infrastructure.
  • Bike-sharing programs increased by 500 percent since 2011.
  • Nearly half of the cities have established funds to invest in energy efficiency, renewable energy or carbon reduction projects.

“C40’s emphasis on measurement and reporting helps cities focus resources and spread the most effective solutions—and this report shows that our efforts are bringing powerful results," said Michael R. Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City and president of the C40 board.

"By using data to show what works—and what’s possible—cities can inform the global conversation on climate change and contribute to aggressive national targets to reduce emissions."

Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.

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