A new report has found that 54 cities around the world are on track to meet the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The C40 Cities Network, a coalition of the world’s megacities working together towards the Paris Agreement and to address climate change, detailed mass tree-planting in Buenos Aires and new public transport networks in Mexico City, among others:
- Houston, Texas, wants to build 800 km of new cycle lanes and establish 50 green energy companies by 2025, as well as plant 4.6 million trees in the next decade. The city also has a large-scale flood protection programme in place, which includes turning a golf course into a series of ponds and flood basins.
- Rio de Janeiro has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050, doubling tree cover in the city’s streets, squares and parks. It is also recommending the use of low-carbon concrete for future building projects and is planning a network of bike lanes.
- Milan has converted large areas of the city to walking and cycling areas. It also plans to be carbon neutral by 2050, planting 220 000 new trees and halving food waste.
The report calculates that together, the cities’ plans will prevent at least 1.9 gigatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions being released into the atmosphere between 2020 and 2030.
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The findings will be presented this week to Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, in the French capital to mark the fifth anniversary of the landmark climate agreement.
Michael Doust, programme director at C40, said it was a key moment when cities could demonstrate what was possible ahead of tomorrow’s climate ambition summit and next year’s COP26 conference in Glasgow.
He says, “To deliver on the goals of the Paris agreement, we must deliver a green and just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that creates a fair economy, cuts emissions and creates jobs.”
Worldwide, around 400 cities have committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
Featured image by: Flickr