HomeIndustry SectorsEnergy EfficiencyHow cities are adapting to environmental pressures

How cities are adapting to environmental pressures

The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) has released research that demonstrates how the world’s cities are implementing climate related actions such as energy efficiency regulations for buildings and goals to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate Action in Megacities Volume 2.0 (CAM 2.0) follows an initial report published in 2011. Some of the findings are that 90% of responding cities are taking action on outdoor lighting to reduce emissions from streetlights and to introduce smart street lighting technology. Of the total actions dealing with energy efficiency in buildings 69% are focused on reducing energy demands in buildings, including insulation and monitoring energy usage.

Waste-to-Energy is a cross-sector success with cities reporting the highest proportion (64%) of transformative and significant actions, including capturing methane gas at landfills and generating low carbon energy through anaerobic digestion at waste treatment facilities. One-third of energy supply actions planned for future expansion will focus on generating energy from waste. A total of 49% of reporting cities have control over energy supply assets. A total of 92% of cities taking action on landfill management are implementing landfill gas management/gas to energy.

A total of 47% of cities have established their own funds to invest in energy efficiency, renewable energy or carbon reduction projects. The greatest increase in reported actions was found in the transport sector, with 150% increase in actions compared to 2011.

The 63 C40 cities represent 600 million people worldwide, 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions and 21% of global GDP. At the Rio+20 United Nations conference on sustainable development, C40 announced that member cities’ existing actions will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 248 million tonnes by 2020; and that the potential reduction could be over a billion tonnes by 2030.

Africa’s members of the C40 include Johannesburg, Lagos, Cairo, Addis Ababa and recently, Cape Town, Dar es Salaam, and Nairobi.