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Posts Tagged ‘global climate change’

Cities are building the road to Paris

 

Published on 5 Nov 2015 Written by Mark Ginsberg Posted in Advocacy and policy

The 21st meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) met in Paris to continue the search for climate solutions. Expectations are always high—with fears of failure lingering in our minds. Previous COPs have had notable successes—and publicized failures. The challenge of global climate change is enormous. COP 21 hopes to overcome some of the problems and find ways to apply technologies, policies and practices to reduce warming to under two degrees in order to reduce climate change around the world.

This year, there is a special focus on cities. Many have long realized that cities are a logical place to address global issues. More people are living in cities than ever before in history, and urbanization is relentlessly growing. Cities consume two-thirds of the world’s energy and create more than 70 percent of global CO2 emissions. Cities have also been leaders in innovation and problem solving. Mayors and cities around the world are active participants, taking ambitious new steps to address their energy and carbon practices.

In recognition of this, the host government of France has placed a special emphasis on cities at this year’s COP. There will be a Cities Day for the first time at a COP, which will help showcase activities going on in cities around the world. And Special Envoy Michael Bloomberg has joined with Mayor Hidalgo of Paris to recognize local climate action with a convening of mayors from around the globe at the Climate Summit for Local Leaders.

It’s important to note that the role of cities goes beyond the events at Paris. Arguably, the measurable strides that leading cities have made to reduce their climate impact in the past decade, along with a growing number of cities committing to act, give their respective national governments the confidence and backing to go to Paris with a strong national voice.

Leading cities have demonstrated that local codes, zoning and transportation policies and programs can make a difference to GHG emissions, while also sparking the local economy, saving money for residents and improving quality of life. Just take a look at the impressive green buildings that the U.S. cities in the Compact have racked up. It’s no wonder cities will play a big role at this year’s COP—and in affecting positive change post-Paris.

Mark Ginsberg

 

LEED Certification

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non profit organization that certifies sustainable businesses, homes, hospitals, schools, and neighborhoods. USGBC is dedicated to expanding green building practices and education, and its LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™.

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