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Low-carbon cities

Cities lie at the heart of the world’s low-carbon future, an influential international working group argues. The world’s cities are responsible for an estimated 67%–76% of global energy use and 71–76% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. According to the US-based Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, which includes the likes of the London School of Economics and the World Resources Institute among its partners, low-carbon solutions for the world’s largest cities could result in emission reductions of 3.7 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030. This is equal to around 15–20% of the total global emission reductions needed for a 2C pathway. The Global Commission is calling for an investment of $1bn for technical assistance, capacity-building and finance to support the greening of 500 cities. If successful, it estimates that the financial savings could be in the order of $16.6tn by 2050. The world’s cities currently generate around 66% of global domestic production.

Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, “Accelerating Low-Carbon Development in the World’s Cities”

Cutting carbon is cost-neutral

Looked at from a purely economic perspective, the costs of a “business as usual” approach to climate change and an “action” response are found to be almost...

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