As cities around the world accelerate efforts to meet their commitments to the Paris climate agreement, a new research on Sunday showed that ambitious urban climate policies can vastly reduce carbon emissions globally.
The research has been conducted by C40 Cities, The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy and the NewClimate Institute.
Titled “Climate Opportunity: More Jobs; Better Health; Liveable Cities”, the research estimates that by 2030 a boost in urban climate action can prevent approximately 1.3 million premature deaths per year, generate 13.7 million jobs in cities and save 40 billion hours of commuters’ time plus billions of dollars in reduced household expenses each year.
Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the report examines a number of effective urban solutions to climate change, including energy efficiency retrofits in buildings, enhanced bus networks and district-scale renewable energy.
It shows that these climate actions are strong drivers of positive public health and economic outcomes across countries and regions.
Its findings show investments in residential energy efficiency retrofits will result in a net creation of 5.4 million jobs in cities worldwide.
These investments will also result in significant household savings, as well as emissions reductions.
Improved bus services and more extensive networks can prevent the premature deaths of nearly one million people per year from air pollution and traffic fatalities worldwide.
It says district-scale renewable energy for heating and cooling in buildings can prevent a further 300,000 premature deaths per year by 2030, as well as create approximately 8.3 million jobs and contribute to significant emissions reductions.
Overall, climate action policies can have proportionally greater outcomes for lower income groups in developing cities, where populations have the most to gain from the introduction of new technologies.
“Climate Opportunity shows what the mayors of the world’s great cities have known for a long time: climate, public health, and a strong economy are deeply connected,” C40 Cities Executive Director Mark Watts said in a statement.
“We need cities around the world to implement the bold climate policies detailed in this report, if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change.”
Thomas Day, partner at NewClimate Institute who led the research, said: “Cities account for 73 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, making large-scale climate action in urban areas an urgent focus of efforts to meet the highest goals of the Paris Agreement.”
The release of the research comes just ahead of next week’s Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, a global gathering of policymakers, scientists, businesses and activists committed to the goals of the Paris Agreement.
In the lead-up to the summit, C40 Cities and the Global Covenant of Mayors invited mayors to enhance their commitments to bold climate action, as part of the “One Planet Charter.”