A new report issued by a coalition of 50 leading international institutions shows that low carbon initiatives in cities could reduce urban emissions by nearly 90% and support 87 million jobs worldwide by 2030. The report finds that implementing low carbon measures in cities would be worth almost $24 trillion by 2050.
Cities are home to more than half the world’s population but produce 80% of gross domestic product and 75% of carbon emissions. The research highlights the significant benefits carbon reduction can bring to cities in areas such as public health, job creation, and poverty alleviation.
The report shows that it is possible to cut 90% of emissions from cities using currently available technologies and practices including carbon savings from buildings, transportation, materials efficiency, and waste reduction. Doing so would require an investment of nearly $2 trillion per year but would generate annual returns of nearly $3 trillion in 2030 and $7 trillion in 2050 based on cost savings alone. Many low carbon measures would pay for themselves in less than five years, including more efficient lighting, electric vehicles, improved freight logistics, and solid waste management.
In addition to economic benefits, compact, connected and clean cities could provide a higher standard of living and greater opportunity for all. These measures would also reduce air pollution, cut chronic traffic congestion, and improve worker productivity.
The report offers case studies from around the world where national and local governments have worked together to rapidly and profoundly transform their cities for the better within 20 or 30 years.
Photo, posted September 8, 2018, courtesy of Steffen Flor via Flickr.