Cities around the world are big drivers of planet warming emissionsbut can play an important role in solving climate change in the near future. United Nations scientists on Monday laid out ways to curb emissions and limit climate change, including a chapter on actions city planners can follow.
The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that urban infrastructure and activities account for about two-thirds of today’s emissions. That means cities have the potential to “solve two-thirds of the problem. So that’s pretty exciting,” said Yale University geographer Karen Seto, lead author of the chapter.
Other actions cities can take include improving energy efficiency in buildings, designing streets to avoid traffic congestion, planting “green roofs” and incorporating more parks and trees green to help eliminate some of the carbon dioxide emissions and also help keep cities cooler, the report said.
Population density planning and promotion is encouraged to prevent the spread in rural and suburban areas where less energy is saved and destruction of natural habitats.
The 21st century will be the urban century, defined by a massive increase in the global urban population. About 55% of the world’s population lived in cities in 2018, a number that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050, with Asian and African cities seeing the largest increases.
The report says climate-friendly urban policies will also improve public health by reducing air pollution.
Let the world have limited opportunities global warming Within 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, cities need to act quickly – and funding will need to be significantly boosted, the report said.
Cities are responsible for up to 72% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, up from 62% in 2015. Climate action could bring city emissions to net zero by next year. 2050. But inaction could double urban emissions in that time, the report said.