Changing Planet

Guardian: CDP-C40 report debunks myths about cities going green

In today’s Guardian, journalist Tim Smedley takes a look at the groundbreaking data recently published by partners CDP, C40 and AECOM in their report, Healthier, Wealthier Cities, which confirms that climate change actions have significant co-benefits, driving economic growth and increasing the quality of life and human health in urban areas.

Cdp Infographic

To view the infographic, click here.

The report “hopes to explode the rhetoric that addressing climate change means reducing living standards,” Smedley writes. In proving the co-benefits of climate action, “what has long been argued now has some very solid data,” he notes.

Interviewed for the piece, Terri Wills, C40 Director of Global Initiatives, said the report findings help to build the political case for implementation.

“If cities want to pass an expensive Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system, or like Tokyo undertake a cap-and-trade programme where they are requiring buildings to undertake energy efficiency – some of those policies get push-back…So by being able to quantify the benefits, city governments are able to bring these stakeholders along. If you go back to Tokyo, all those building owners have surpassed the initial emissions reductions requirements because in making efficiencies they discovered that they saved money too.”

The Greater London Authority’s Matthew Pencharz, Environment Advisor to the Mayor of London, said:

“We must fight the rhetoric that… taking climate action inevitably leads to a reduction in living standards or even a complete change in our way of life. We must say that there is no contradiction between being resource efficient and fostering economic growth and jobs… financial incentives will provide a much more persuasive message than reductions in GHG emissions.”

C40 Cities have been a catalyst for the growing commitment by global cities to disclose climate change actions and their wider impacts; 110 cities from around the world participated in this year’s survey, including 53 C40 Cities, many of whom lead the way in reporting to CDP for a third consecutive year. C40-specific analysis will be published in the coming months and will show that by acting locally the C40 is having a significant impact globally in tackling the challenges the planet faces from climate change.

To read the full text article, click here.

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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