Cities Rush to Measure Climate Footprint After Paris Deal
By the Thomson Reuters Foundation
The number of cities reporting on their efforts to tackle global warming has risen 70 percent to 533 around the world since the adoption of the Paris climate change agreement in 2015, the group collecting the data said.
The cities — which provide annual information on their planet-warming emissions, the climate hazards they face, renewable energy targets, risks to their water supply and other environmental aspects — now represent 621 million citizens globally, CDP said on Thursday.
European Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete adjusts his glasses as he addresses a news conference after the Paris climate deal at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, December 14, 2015.
Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
"When cities measure their climate footprint and seek a sustainable path to green growth powered by clean energy, they take us all further towards the global transition to low emissions and resilient development," said Patricia Espinosa, the new head of the U.N. climate change secretariat.
In December, 195 nations reached a deal to limit climate change by shifting from fossil fuels to green energies by 2100.
CDP, a UK-based non-profit formerly called the Carbon Disclosure Project, said more cities are doing an inventory of their greenhouse gas emissions, as a first step to managing their climate impact, amid growing awareness of climate risks.
Today four in 10 cities are measuring their emissions, compared with one in 10 cities in 2011, when CDP launched a program to help them reduce their emissions and adapt to climate change.
CDP highlighted a nearly four-fold increase since last year in the number of African cities disclosing climate information, to 46 from 12.
Newcomers include Accra in Ghana, Kisumu in Kenya, Kinshasa in Democratic Republic of Congo and Antananarivo in Madagascar.
"Climate change poses a serious threat to the wealth and wellbeing of our city," Lorna Omuodo, Kisumu's chief officer for green energy and climate change, said in a statement.
"Delaying action will be costly, which is why we are taking steps now to ensure we build resilience."
Here are some facts and figures on the cities reporting climate information to CDP:
• Latin America saw a 66 percent increase in cities disclosing, with 136 sharing data in 2016. Over half are in Brazil, including Rio de Janeiro, host of this month's Olympics, which reported for the fifth time.
• The Asia-Pacific region has seen a rise of nearly a third since 2015. Cities reporting for the first time include Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's largest city, and Guangzhou, one of China's most populous cities, as well as Bangalore and Kolkata in India.
• Europe has seen an 83 percent increase in cities reporting, to 126 across 32 countries. Many cities across Eastern Europe are reporting for the first time.
• In North America, there has been a 72 percent rise to 131 cities. Twenty-eight of the top 30 U.S. cities by population now disclose data to CDP, representing 38 million people. Reporting by Canadian cities doubled in 2016.
Reporting by Megan Rowling; editing by Katie Nguyen