Daily Management Review

Climate Friendly Cities Could Save the World $22tn: Global Commission Report


Climate Friendly Cities Could Save the World $22tn: Global Commission Report
The world could save more than $22 trillion by 2050 if governments in various countries try and expand the public transport system, stress on the building and the use of build energy-saving edifices and consolidate better waste management systems in cities.
This was the conclusion of a report by Global Commission on Climate and Economy that was released on Tuesday.
The amount stated in the report is the amount that governments would be able to save on transport, buildings and waste disposal by creating smarter and cleaner cities by 2050.
These measures would also enable the countries to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by 3.7 Gt CO2e per year by 2030 which is more than the current annual emissions of India.
The energy costs of cities would be reduced and the public health system would be improved along with the ability of cities to attract new residents and businesses if the measures mentioned in the report were adopted, said Michael Bloomberg, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change. 
The report negates a popular concept among sections of governments that it is too expensive to do anything about climate change – or that such efforts would make little real difference.
More than $100 can be leveraged through private finance for low-carbon urban infrastructure against every $1 that is invested by the government authorities in improving the creditworthiness of cities, the report noted while commenting on the financial viability of the proposed measures. In addition to the above, $20–50 million in capital support for successful projects can be obtained for every $1million invested in project preparation.
 “There is now increasing evidence that emissions can decrease while economies continue to grow,” said Seth Schultz, a researcher for the C40 climate leadership group who consulted on the report.

“Becoming more sustainable and putting the world – specifically cities – on a low carbon trajectory is actually feasible and good economics,” Schultz added.
The Global Commission on Climate and Economy is an independent initiative by former finance ministers and leading research institutions from UK, Norway, Sweden, Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia and South Korea and is chaired by former Mexican President Felipe Calderón, and co-chaired by renowned economist Lord Nicholas Stern. The commission works in the analysis and communication of the economic benefits and the costs of acting on climate change.
The report noted that the growth of urban population is expected to be the highest in Africa by 2050 and it would be twice the rate of the rest of the world.
Immediate difference in climate change and improvement in people’s life can be made by making investments and adopting changes in the public transport system. For example, commuting time and pollution can be reduced by as much as 50% by building bus lanes, such as those rolling out in Buenos Aires, the report suggests.
 Electricity usage can be significantly reduced by adoption of green building standards and reduce demand for water. Bio gas can serve to be a viable alternative source of fuel in terms of advanced waste management, suggested he report.
In order to help accelerate and scale up low-carbon urban strategies in at least the world’s largest 500 cities, the international community should develop an integrated package of $1bn or more over five years, suggests the report.
A possible new global climate agreement can be agreed upon and adopted by the governments of more than 190 nations when they gather in Paris in December this year. The meeting is also being viewed as an important opportunity for the efforts to hold warming to 2C by moving the global economy away from fossil fuels to cleaner sources of energy.
(Source:www.forbes.com & www.edie.net)