Ahead of Climate Week NYC, we're shining a light on the cities acting as centers of progress.
We're exploring how these exciting epicenters of change are making a very real transition to the new sustainable economy.
Cities house half the world’s population but represent almost two-thirds of global energy demand and 70% of carbon emissions from the energy sector. Therefore, the transition to a sustainable economy could well be won or lost in our cities.
The good news is cities are already taking action to respond to climate change, build resilience, and create better places to live, work and do business.
And this change is accelerating.
‘Progress’, a new video produced by CDP, celebrates those cities acting on the environment and tells a story of a world in transition. Based on new data from nearly 600 global cities, we've found that around 8,000 actions are being taken, and projects worth US$52 billion underway to build a new sustainable economy.
We’re delighted to announce that in 2017 we’ve seen a ten-fold increase in the number of cities disclosing their activity from six years ago, with a 20-fold increase in the number of climate actions underway. A tipping point is emerging, as cities increasingly recognize sustainability investments as essential to creating jobs and making their cities more attractive places to live and work.
Meanwhile, over 7,000 mayors are now part of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, signposting their commitment to building tomorrow’s green economy.
‘Progress’ highlights those cities creating a new low carbon future from London to Chicago, Adelaide and Rio de Janeiro.
Visit cities all over the world and the signs of a more sustainable economy are already evident. Take for example, Chicago. The Midwestern US city has plans to develop 2,000 acres of natural green space. 5,000 miles south in Rio de Janeiro, the city is working to build 550km of cycle paths.
And these aren’t just dreams for the future. They translate into real policies, investment opportunities, jobs and developments today. Ultimately, every city needs to get involved, and they need to collaborate.
In California cities, companies and citizens have worked collaboratively to respond to the record-breaking drought of 2014. This kind of cross-sector partnership is good for economic development, and it helps cities be more effective too.
Our research shows cities set more ambitious targets when they collaborate. And cities are taking note - reporting over 1,000 projects seeking private sector investment.
In the face of rapid urbanisation, population growth, climate change and water stress, the stakes have never been higher. We have so much to lose, but also so much to gain. Cities can create good jobs, improve public health, boost tourism and attract the innovative industries of the future.
From investment in renewable energy; low carbon transport; green spaces and more, information from hundreds of cities is now being released in CDP’s Open Data Portal.
In the belief that information is key to meaningful action, the Open Data Portal is packed full of charts, graphs and maps on who’s tackling climate change, flooding and more.
Cities have made great strides already, but we need to increase the pace and scale of change. Together we can tip the balance, but to get there, leadership has never been more important.