Quantcast

World's Largest Cities Expand Climate Change Policies and Investments

Climate

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.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A volcano erupts on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island on Dec. 9, 2019. Michael Schade / Twitter

A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.

"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."

The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.

Michael Schade / Twitter

At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.

The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.

Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.

"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."

Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.

Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.

"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.

"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."

The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.

Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.

Guardians of the Forest monitor passersby entering Juracal Village in Araribóia Indigenous Reserve, Maranhão, Brazil on Aug. 8, 2015. Bonnie Jo Mount / The Washington Post via Getty Images

Two indigenous leaders were killed in a drive-by shooting in Northeast Brazil Saturday, and two others were injured.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Larger fish like tuna are especially threatened by lowering ocean oxygen levels. TheAnimalDay.org / CC BY 2.0

Human activity is smothering the ocean, the largest study of its kind has found, and it poses a major threat to marine life.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Adda Bjarnadottir, MS, LN

Up to 20% of people may have a food addiction or exhibit addictive-like eating behavior.

Read More Show Less
Spiced hot chocolate. Lilechka75 / iStock / Getty Images

By Katey Davidson, MScFN, RD

Food is the cornerstone of the holiday season. It brings friends and family together to share memories, cultural traditions, and great flavors.

Read More Show Less