While national negotiators work to broker a climate deal in Paris, mayors from around the world showed yesterday that a global movement of local climate action is already underway. At the Climate Summit for Local Leaders, about 1000 mayors signed a declaration that supports a transition to 100% Renewable Energy. And in fact, events across the COP21 amplify the leadership of local governments and their important role for combating climate change. [Read more →]
December 5, 2015 Comments Off on Cities For Climate at COP21 in Paris
An increasingly urban matter?
Humanity has become a predominantly urban species. This could not be truer in China, where the share of urban population went from only 19% in 1980 to 54% in 2014. Cities in China still today grow by roughly 12 million people every year. It is estimated that by 2030 they will house around 1 billion people – about 70% of China´s population. Clearly enough, if any meaningful action towards a more sustainable future is to be taken seriously, this will need to involve its cities. While most Chinese cities are still affected by an incredibly high level of pollution, more and more people throughout the country are claiming their right to a “blue sky”. Could this growing public support joint with strong political leadership be the right drivers for rapid improvements in China´s environmental performance?
August 27, 2015 Comments Off on Urban China: the challenge and the hope
Cities are becoming increasingly dependent on resources coming from well beyond their boundaries. When it comes to energy, cities are often heavily reliant on fossil fuels imported from distant regions and on centralized power plants. With an energy transformation based on decentralized renewable energy such as the German Energiewende, the relationship between cities and their hinterlands will inevitably change. Cities will need to be able to create much of the energy they consume from within their boundaries or get this energy directly from their immediate surrounding regions.
This is, in fact, a huge opportunity for cities and municipalities, as highlighted by former German parliamentarian Hans-Josef Fell during our panel discussion at Metropolitan Solutions 2015 in Berlin. It means that cities have the opportunity to not only drastically reduce their environmental impact but also boost their local economy, strengthen the cooperation with their surrounding regions and become increasingly more energy resilient and self-sufficient.
May 28, 2015 Comments Off on Seizing the opportunity: What the German energy transition means for cities