Low carbon pathway for future city success

Climate experts will meet in Sydney today to discuss how cities can use energy efficiency and emission reduction programs to reach the global targets set at the Paris climate talks.

C40 executive director Mark Watts will head up the panel discussion at Sydney Town Hall, with Lord Mayor Clover Moore and University of Sydney Associate Professor Rod Simpson, and joined by business, industry and community leaders.

Following the Paris talks, a global agreement was reached to limit global temperature rise to less than two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is currently considering making a special report on climate and cities to recognise the role of cities role in the global response to climate change.

The City of Sydney is among a group of global cities, regions, companies and investors that have committed to the Paris Pledge for Action to achieve climate stability.

“The cities that get on a low-carbon development pathway soonest will be the most successful cities over the next decade,” Mr Watts said.

“These will be the cities achieving faster economic growth and more sustainable improvements in living standards.

“Fortunately, mayors and cities around the world are coming together to form an unstoppable coalition for action. Sydney and Melbourne are both members of C40 and have shown incredible leadership on the issue of climate change and introduced meaningful action to reduce emissions.”

The IPCC special report would be a huge opportunity to strengthen the momentum created during the Paris climate negotiations. Such a comprehensive, global, and authoritative resource on cities and climate change will simultaneously advance scientific knowledge, policy, and action at local, national and global levels.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore, who attended the climate talks in Paris, said cities would play a vital role in cutting emissions and tackling climate change.

“Cities cover a tiny fraction of the Earth’s surface, yet more than half the world’s population live in cities,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Our cities generate a staggering 75 to 80 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, so action in our cities is crucial to combating climate change.

“Many of the world’s biggest cities are setting ambitious targets and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, proving effective action on climate change and strong economic growth are compatible.”

“We now urge the IPCC to recognise the role of cities in the global response to climate change. This opportunity would mean a comprehensive global resource on cities and climate change examining scientific evidence and looking at solutions for climate action.”

The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a network of more than 80 global cities, representing over 500 million people and one-quarter of the global economy. C40 is focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing the health, wellbeing and economic opportunities of urban citizens.

The City of Sydney is an active member in several networks where forward-thinking cities exchange best practices to build more resilient cities.