100 city projects making the case for climate action
Cities are on the front lines of climate change, feeling the impacts of record-breaking temperatures, rising sea levels, and climate related natural disasters. Mayors recognise that the actions they take today are key in securing a sustainable, prosperous, and healthy future for their citizens, and all people on our shared planet.
Read by sector
The sustainable mobility sector highlights how cities are putting people before cars. Prioritising public transport, cycling, and walking, and redesigning cities to be bicycle- and people-centric are some of the steps cities are taking towards a low-carbon future.
Sustainable Waste Management
Urban waste is no longer a wasteful matter, as cities are turning to innovation and the circular economy. From cities that are reducing waste via online tools or recycling, to transforming traditional landfills into ecological conservation sites and inventing ways to turn waste products into clean water, cities are re-imagining waste into valuable resources.
Building Energy Efficiency
Powering, heating, and cooling buildings can account for up to 70% of a city’s energy consumption, so increasing energy efficiency can yield significant cuts in both costs and carbon emissions. As cities introduce ever-more ambitious energy standards, the number of zero-carbon buildings, as well as deep retrofits to old buildings, is skyrocketing.
With energy use accounting for around 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions, accelerating the shift towards a low-carbon energy system has never been a more pressing issue. Fortunately, cities are rising to the challenge, boosting demand in renewables by making it easier for citizens and businesses to buy low-cost, low-carbon power.
With major cities harbouring key financial centres, financial instruments and divestment projects are increasingly being utilised to help accelerate the decarbonisation of the global economy. Unleashing the power of international markets, via green bonds for example, is enabling rapid build-out of green energy capacity.
Adaptation and Resilience
As the climate crisis brings rising sea levels, more floods, and greater heat, people and properties in cities are on the frontline. Fortunately, ever-more adaptation projects are boosting the resiliency of cities to such events, and while many innovative technical solutions are being deployed, there has been an increasing trend towards implementing nature-based solutions.
Climate Action Planning
Cities are laying the groundwork to decrease their contribution to climate change and protect their citizens from future impacts. To create blueprints for a future without carbon emissions, cities are transitioning to renewable energy, greening their neighbourhoods, improving infrastructure, and much more.
Cities are increasingly integrating meaningful citizen engagement, experimenting with creative ways to involve citizens in campaigns, projects, and planning processes. Not only can citizen participation contribute to the overall success of a project, it can amplify the project’s impact, and trigger cultural and behavioural change.
Inclusive Climate Action
Around the world, inclusivity is increasingly becoming a prerequisite for climate action. As the impacts of the climate crisis disproportionately affect low-income communities, cities are including representatives from local communities in project development to ensure that city projects are all-encompassing and socially just, so that no one is left behind.
Mayors around the world are increasing efforts to tackle air pollution, which causes 4.2 million premature deaths every year globally. By introducing emissions standards in city centres, car-free days, efficient public transportation, and initiatives to reduce idling, cities are improving air quality for the benefit of their citizens’ health.
Sustainable Food Systems
With climate change expected to have significant yet uncertain impacts on the global food system, leading cities are making concerted efforts to reduce the problematic issue of food waste. By boosting organic waste collection and incentivising surplus food donations, cities are ensuring their least well-off citizens have better access to food, while leading to more circular, resourceful economies.
Increasing extreme weather events and growing populations are challenging cities faced with droughts and floods, and pressuring local water supplies. Cities are taking preventative approaches to enable a future with clean water to drink and neighbourhoods safe from flooding.