Sustainable Cities

TACKLING GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE AT THE LOCAL LEVEL

(Photo Credit: Reto Stockli, NASA Earth Observatory, nasa.gov)

Everyone is at risk from the impacts of climate change, and with no action, the world faces significant financial, public health, and safety consequences. For decades, federal governments and international bodies have been incapable of adequately tackling the problem—there is plenty of talk, but little action. Now, however, the world’s cities have taken the lead in fighting the impacts of climate change locally, and their collective efforts are having a global impact.

 

To mobilize climate action among cities, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed Mike Bloomberg as the first U.N. Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change in early 2014. In this role, Bloomberg is helping national governments set more ambitious climate targets by showing them how much cities can do to reduce emission and build resilience. Bloomberg also currently serves as the President of the Board of the C40 Climate Leadership Group, a network of large cities from around the world committed to implementing meaningful and sustainable climate-related actions.

APPLYING THE BLOOMBERG PHILANTHROPIES APPROACH TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE

  1. COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIPS

    The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a network of nearly 75 cities around the world that are taking measurable and scalable action to reduce their carbon emissions. C40 also partners with the Clinton Climate Initiative and the World Bank to accelerate progress on combating the negative impacts of climate change.

  2. OUTCOME-DRIVEN METRICS

    Under Mike Bloomberg’s leadership, the C40 adopted a new emphasis on accountability by using outcome-driven performance metrics.

  3. LOCAL ACTIONS

    C40 embodies Bloomberg Philanthropies’ vision for tackling climate change: driving scalable and replicable actions at the city and local level.

C40/ Sustainable Cities in Action: Seoul

SEOUL CAR-FREE DAYS REDUCE CO2 EMISSIONS BY 10% ANNUALLY

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DRIVING CLIMATE CHANGE AT THE LOCAL LEVEL

National governments have been seemingly incapable of taking coordinated international action on climate change. We cannot rely on them to solve the climate problem. Change must start at the local level.

Whereas national governments—by their nature—are somewhat removed from citizens, city mayors on the other hand, are directly accountable to their constituents and are therefore able to take decisive actions that can yield immediate results. What our cities do individually and in unison to address climate change can set the agenda for communities and governments everywhere. Although there is no single solution for solving global climate change, cities have the ability, capacity, and will to lead.

C40 is making a significant difference in improving the scale and speed of local climate action. When C40 cities implement strategies, take action, and share knowledge, the collective impact is exponential.

C40/ Sustainable Cities in Action: Tokyo

TOKYO’S GREEN BUILDING PROGRAM CREATES A GREENER REAL ESTATE MARKET

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(Photo Credit: Alvin Law / Flickr)

WHILE OTHERS CONTINUE TO TALK, WE’RE MAKING REAL AND MEASURABLE PROGRESS RIGHT NOW

Our partnership with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group provides valuable resources to help mayors around the world execute their local sustainability objectives.

We know that climate mitigation efforts are not a one-sized-fits-all solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Our approach supports city governments’ ability to tackle the challenges most relevant to their immediate and long-term needs.

Working in partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative, the World Bank and other partners, we have seen considerable progress in the speed and scale of our efforts.

C40/ Sustainable Cities in Action: Melbourne

MELBOURNE'S ECO-FRIENDLY OFFICE BUILDING IMPROVES WORK EFFICIENCY OF ITS STAFF

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(Photo Credit: www.c40.org)

THOUSANDS OF INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS ADD UP TO A SEA OF CHANGE

Today, more than 4,700 measurable climate change actions are in effect in the nearly 70 C40 cities, with almost 1,500 further actions under active consideration.

ELEVEN C40 WINS

  1. TRANSPORTATION IN LONDON

    London has reduced vehicle numbers in the central business district by more than 76,000 per day, cutting carbon emissions in the zone by 15%.

  2. BUILDINGS IN ADDIS ABABA

    Addis Ababa is using low-carbon building designs in an enormous construction program that is moving a large population from unplanned shantytowns into more formal living arrangements.

  3. BUS-WAY CORRIDOR IN JAKARTA

    TransJakarta built a bus-way corridor through the city center in an unprecedented nine months, providing services for 39 million people and reducing an estimated 120,000 tons of CO2 annually.

  4. CLIMATE-PROOFING HOMES IN JOHANNESBURG

    Johannesburg is installing solar water heaters, ceiling insulation and efficient lighting in low-income houses, saving close to 60,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

  5. TRANSPORTATION IN SAN FRANCISCO

    San Francisco is an established leader in low-emission transport, with one of the largest clean-air municipal fuel fleets in the United States.

  6. ENERGY REDUCTION IN CARACAS

    Faced with extreme water and electricity shortages, Caracas introduced a number of austerity measures meant to cut demand and reduce carbon emissions.

  7. GREENSPACE IN SYDNEY

    Sydney implemented a large-scale plan to have every resident be within a 250m walk of continuous green links that connect to major city parks.

  8. BETTER MUNICIPAL BUILDINGS IN MELBOURNE

    Melbourne Council House 2 is a multi-award-winning, inspirational building that has reduced CO2 emissions by 87%, electricity consumption by 82%, gas by 87%, and water by 72%.

  9. LANDFILL REDUCTION IN MEXICO CITY

    Mexico City closed its Bordo Poniente Landfill, one of the world’s largest, cutting an estimated 25% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.

  10. RAPID TRANSIT IN BUENOS AIRES

    Buenos Aires launched the first Bus Rapid Transit line in South America, cutting fuel usage of city buses by 30%.

  11. BUILDING EFFICIENCIES IN LOS ANGELES

    Los Angeles launched a program to help owners of commercial properties make their buildings more energy and water efficient while saving tenants money and stimulating the local economy.

C40/ Sustainable Cities in Action: Bogota

BOGOTA REDUCES EMISSIONS BY PROMOTING CYCLING

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