Sydney recognised as driver for global climate action

The City of Sydney has been recognised for international excellence alongside Buenos Aires, Copenhagen and Milan in an international index of the top 100 city responses to climate change.

The Cities100 index is developed by C40, a network of the world’s top cities taking action on climate change, and Scandinavian sustainability think tank, Sustainia.

The City’s climate change adaptation and residential apartments sustainability plans have been acknowledged as significant climate solutions that can be scaled and replicated across the world.

The 100 solutions show real action is happening in cities around the globe and highlight opportunities for change ahead of the COP21 conference, to be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11 this year.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore, who will represent Sydney at a number of high profile summits and events during the conference, said the City has been getting on with the job of reducing dangerous carbon emissions.

“At the upcoming Paris climate talks, world leaders will work towards an agreement to attempt to slow the pace of global warming,” the Lord Mayor said.

“It is vital that we demonstrate the pivotal role cities play in reducing global emissions. Cities only cover two per cent of the earth’s surface, but over half the world’s population live in cities, even more in Australia, and cities generate 75 to 80 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. That makes our cities crucial to combating climate change.”

“Our work shows that more ambitious targets are possible and compatible with strong economic growth.”

The City’s residential apartment plan outlines a suite of simple measures to reduce the environmental impact of apartment living – applicable to over two thirds of the city’s population.

The City’s climate adaptation strategy was the last in a suite of green infrastructure master plans looking at decentralised energy, water and renewable energy.

The climate plan was prepared with help from major science groups and leading business and property organisations. It contains 39 different actions to help deal with issues ranging from changing rainfall patterns and rising sea levels to more severe heat waves.

C40 Executive Director, Mark Watts, said: “In this urban age, it is simply not possible to tackle climate change without strong and urgent action in cities.

“Mayors have the opportunity to help set the world on a climate safe path. Fortunately, working together, they are up to the challenge.”

The Cities100 publication will be presented at the Sustainia COP21 event on 6 December in Paris.