We’re all familiar with the situation. The planet’s countries come together in a big ‘ol summit, talk and talk and discuss about what they’re going to do about climate change, no one wants anything binding, and what we get in the end is some kind of resolution or agreement that sounds a lot better than it actually is, and no real action is taken. But there is some hope!
Back in 2005, a group of the world’s largest cities got together and decided that if their governments weren’t going to do anything about climate change, then they would. The Large Cities Climate Leadership Group, also known as the C40, was born, and has since been making real steps towards addressing climate issues.
Originally 40 cities, the group is now made up of 58 Megacities from around the world. These cities represent over 8% of the world’s population, 12% of its greenhouse gases, and 21% of its GDP. The C40 is led by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, whose own city has already taken steps to address climate change.
New York City’s PlanYC put forth an ambitious strategy to tackle a growing population, aging infrastructure, and limited resources. The plan will focus on green building, energy conservation, improved mass transit, water conservation and treatment, and public health among other issues.
But New York is not the only player in the game. Recently, the Mayor of Los Angeles joined NYC’s ranks, and set a target to eliminate coal from its energy portfolio by 2020, while increasing its proportion of renewables to 40%! To help reach this goal, the Mayor recently signed an agreement to purchase 100% of the power produced by a major solar plant in southern Nevada, enough to power over 100,000 homes!
And these two examples aren’t the only ones; cities around the world are stepping up to the challenge that their national governments are failing to address. Check out this cool chart from the C40 website showing all of the affiliated cities, and the projects they’re implementing to help make themselves greener.
So remember, when international climate change committees don’t pull through, don’t get yourself down, cities are acting now and will be the ones leading the charge on climate change adaptation and mitigation.