by Ben Bovarnick
While many national governments struggle to take comprehensive action on climate change, major cities around the globe are acting on their own.
The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) recently released a report tracking initiatives cities are taking to address their greenhouse gas emissions. Many of these municipal governments — plagued by heat waves and flooding — recognize the urgent need to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Cities account for 70 percent of global emissions while occupying just 2 percent of dry land. The 53 cities that publicly disclose city wide emissions together produce more than 977 million tonnes of CO2 — or the equivalent emissions of Germany.
While cities are a major source of carbon emissions, they’re also a hotbed of activity to reduce that global warming pollution.
Reacting to the dangers posed by climate change, 59 cities are taking a total of 630 city-wide actions to limit their emissions. The most common measure is reducing the energy demand of buildings, with 133 efforts to do so in 48 cities. 47 cities have also initiated 129 actions to reduce transportation emissions. In order to achieve this, cities are frequently using their general municipal funds, though there ...