Changing Planet

Cities Vow to Tackle Municipal Solid Waste at Vancouver Conference

Major cities from around the world gathered in the C40 city of Vancouver to develop plans of action to significantly reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SCLP) from waste management, in conjunction with the Global Methane Expo on March 11-12.

“Mitigating short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP) from the municipal solid waste sector” is an initiative of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, a transformative global partnership of cities, international organizations, NGOs, and the private sector, seeking to rapidly reduce SLCPs like black carbon and methane by improving waste management practices.

C40 Cities launched the Initiative with the CCAC in June 2012, and C40 cities are playing a leadership role. “We are very excited about the progress of the CCAC Municipal Solid Waste Initiative since we launched at Rio+20,” said Dr. Rohit Aggarwala, Advisor to C40 Chair and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “New funding for city exchanges, technical assistance for a network of C40 cities, and the focus on fostering knowledge exchange and connections between peers from across city administrations will lead to emission reductions within the world’s mega-cities.”

C40, in partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative, and CCAC partners including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, World Bank, and United Nations Environment Programme, are already working with several C40 cities on various projects: Rio de Janeiro, to improve landfill operation and leachate treatment; Lagos, to implement innovative financing mechanisms for a landfill gas project; and Dhaka and Ho Chi Minh City, to assess their waste management systems and identify opportunities for SLCP reductions.

Other C40 cities are getting involved. New York is looking to double its landfill diversion in less than five years and implement a voluntary organics collection program. Tokyo and Stockholm are also on board to participate in the CCAC by taking on new actions at home, sharing knowledge, leading in regional trainings and workshops, and mentoring other cities in the network.

Rio’s Mayor Eduardo Paes emphasized his city’s commitment to improving its solid waste management system as part of its strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “In this regard, the city has been implementing several actions to enhance the system, such as implementing a new state-of-the art landfill in Seropédica, creating one of the largest biogas purification plants in the world, as well as composting the organic residues from markets,” said Mayor Paes. “Rio de Janeiro considers the partnership with CCAC an opportunity to further advance these initiatives. We are committed to leading the dissemination of these practices, so we are working closely with international institutions like C40, which has been strategically supporting us on this endeavor.”

Click here for the CCAC MSW Initiative’s official press release on the event.

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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