Cities more inclined to report emissions after Paris agreement

Global cities are apparently taking the Paris climate pledges seriously, as the number of cities voluntarily reporting their climate emissions and anti-global warming activities has risen by 70 per cent since last year.

According to the UK-based Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), 533 metropolises are now sharing data about the emissions they produce, climate hazards they face, renewable energy targets, as well as threats to water supply.

"When cities measure their climate footprint and seek a sustainable path to green growth powered by clean energy, they take us all further towards the global transition to low emissions and resilient development," said Patricia Espinosa, the new head of the UN climate change secretariat.

Cities in areas prone to extreme climate change side effects have notably stepped up their involvement. CDP reported a four-fold increase in the number of African cities disclosing their climate information from last year. South America saw a 66 per cent increase, while the number of cities from the Asia-Pacific region reporting has risen by a third. Among the new joiners are Indian cities Kolkota and Bangalore, Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur and Kenya’s Kisumu.

“Climate change poses a serious threat to the wealth and wellbeing of our city,” said Lorna Omuodo, CEO of Kisumu-based Green Energy and Climate Change. “Delaying action will be costly, which is why we are taking steps now to ensure we build resilience in Kisumu. CDP is the best initiative on climate change I have seen in a long time because it is focused on practical actions.”

Making a regular greenhouse gas emissions inventory helps cities and their organisations to better understand their carbon footprint and choose an efficient counteraction.

According to CDP, only one in ten cities reported undertaking a citywide emissions inventory in 2011. Now four in ten cities report doing so.

“We are thrilled to have so many new cities, in particular from the developing world, share their climate strategies through CDP for the first time,” said Paul Dickinson, executive chairman of CDP.

“Disclosing environmental information fuels awareness that in turn helps city leaders plan, finance and build low-carbon resilient cities. You cannot manage what you do not measure and this year city leaders around the world are sending a clear message that they are ready and able to take on the global climate challenge.”

The trend of increased transparency is also reflected in the world’s mega-cities, with 90 per cent of C40 cities disclosing in 2016.

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