Changing Planet

C40 Answers the Question “Why Cities”

Many first-time readers of City Solutions may ask themselves, “But why do cities matter when it comes to a huge problem like global climate change?”

The C40 Cities team answers this question elegantly through a sleek, scrolling graphic on the new platform.

The facts show that cities are most likely to experience severe impacts from a changing climate, and are simultaneously in the best position to tackle these problems through strong local actions.

As this infographic points out, almost 50 percent of cities are already dealing with and contributing to the effects of climate change. More than 90 percent of all urban areas are coastal, putting most cities on Earth at risk of flooding as sea levels rise and extreme weather worsens. Cities are also growing at a tremendous rate and have a ravenous appetite for energy, consuming ⅔ of the world’s energy and creating over 70 percent of global CO2 emissions.

But there are myriad opportunities for mayors and other city leaders – who are often more responsive and nimble than their national and international counterparts – to take local actions that have an immediate impact and add up to create global effects. Today, over 4,700 climate change actions are in effect in the nearly 60 Cities of the C40, with almost 1,500 further actions under active consideration.

We encourage you to check out this new graphic, explore the rest of the site, see what actions are happening in your city, and find out what you can do to combat climate change.

The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a network of large and engaged cities from around the world committed to implementing meaningful and sustainable climate-related actions locally that will help address climate change globally. Recognizing that cities consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions, our organization’s global field staff works with city governments, supported by our technical experts across a range of program areas to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency in large cities across the world. The current chair of the C40 is Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, and 108th Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg is President of the Board. The Steering Committee includes: Berlin, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Houston, Jakarta, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul and Tokyo.

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