Act fast but not alone – the role for urban policymakers in delivering a 1.5°C future

A new report translates the key scientific findings and policy observations from the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR1.5) for officials and policymakers of the world’s cities and urban areas. The Summary Report for Urban Policymakers: What the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5° Means for Cities was released this week at COP24 in Katowice. While SR1.5 identifies cities and urban areas as one of four critical global systems that can accelerate and upscale climate action; this new summary report provides urban stakeholders access to the most advanced science on why the transition to a 1.5°C world is necessary and how it can be achieved.

In cities and urban areas there are actions that policymakers can take along with residents and stakeholders to help limit warming and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The Summary Report for Urban Policymakers dives deeper into these actions, making sure that ideas are clear for those who could put them into practice. It introduces future pathways, possible impacts, and routes forward; explains why cities matter, including the necessary transitions, technological innovations and lifestyle changes required to meet the 1.5°C target; considers if the urban transition is feasible; details how the urban transition can be enabled, as through policies and engagement; and looks into how to pay for it.

The conclusion is that an opportunity exists for urban policymakers to play a key role in adapting to and driving solutions to climate change, but fast action must take place over the next two decades, and urban policymakers cannot do it alone. All sections and levels of government must work in an integrated way to allow for the urban transition required to limit warming to 1.5°C. Action at the city, state, and regional levels is specifically recommended for urban energy systems, buildings, transport and urban planning, green infrastructure, sustainable land use, and water management; co-benefits of improved public health and reduced air pollution are also highlighted.

The report was released along with an open letter to urban policymakers, written by a group of ten sustainability-focused city-networks, associations and non-governmental organizations and international organizations.

Share

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on tumblr
China-climate-pledge
Articles

China Pledges Climate Neutrality by 2060

In late September China announced its intention to become carbon neutral by 2060. This came as welcome news, particularly in light of the new stimulus measures for Covid recovery being deployed. However, even if China manages to abide by its commitments what will this mean for global climate objectives? Is it too little too late?

Articles

When Science Feeds News

They build capacity and offer a voice for the areas which are most affected by Climate Change. They create a broad and fluid network of journalists and communicators that share resources, information and opportunities. All of which, in a very effective and innovative way. Discover Climate Tracker, the next generation of climate journalists.

Articles

The Green Deal Dives into the Blue Economy

Oceans will play a key part in the ongoing transition: they are an invaluable resource for the climate-neutral world, providing renewable energy, food, and solutions. However, they also host fragile ecosystems that are suffering from climate inaction. Policymakers, scientists, financial actors, and civil society have their eyes fixed on the sea, because “there can be no Green Deal without a sustainable blue economy.”