30 European cities to reduce emissions
The rapid urbanization world over was major reason behind the increased carbon footprint in the atmosphere. The process began in the Europe with age of industrialization and resulted in the creation of the modern cities. Looks like European cities have now decided to do their part to fight the global warming. 30 European mayors have committed to decrease their greenhouse gas emissions by almost 40 percent in next 15 years. The list includes the city of London and Bristol, which will use clean technologies to cut the emissions by 2030.
Leaders of Rome, Amsterdam, Dublin and other important cities in the Europe came together at the summit in the Paris recently. The declaration was adopted which decided to meet European Union’s aims for post-2020 energy and climate. This conference was expected to build positive environment for the United Nation’s COP 21 summit in the Paris. The global leaders are expected to finalize the deal on the climate change in coming December which will be implemented from 2020. More than 50 percent of the world population resides in the cities today and urbanization is expected increase exponentially by the year 2050. At that point of time, towns and cities will emit around 70 percent of the CO2. As the sea levels will rise, port cities will see the worse effects of the climate change.
The Mayors committed that they will procure green technologies for the cities such as eco-friendly transport systems and renewable energy to fulfill demands along with regular reports on the initiatives.
Half of the world's population now live in cities, and this is expected to rise to two thirds in 2050, with cities contributing 70 per cent of global CO2 emissions at that point. With many major urban areas located near coasts, cities also tend to be vulnerable to the worst impacts of climate change such as rising sea levels and heavy rainfall.
The declaration seeks to address both of these issues, committing mayors to regularly report on the initiatives they are undertaking to combat climate change. They also pledged to use their procurement power to boost the uptake of green technologies, such as ultra low emission vehicles, insulation and smart building technologies as well as renewable energy.
The document was not officially signed by the mayors, rather adopted, as many cities have to get approval from their City Council before signing a text. London Mayor Boris Johnson was represented at the meeting by his senior environment adviser Matthew Pencharz.
Through the declaration, the mayors called on member states to adopt the European Union's 2030 Climate and Energy framework quickly, thereby commiting the bloc to reduce emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 based on 1990 levels, increase the share of renewable energy to 27 per cent and reduce energy wastage by 27 per cent by 2030.
The event was also attended by French President Francois Hollande and European Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, who said he wanted to export the European model of collaboration between cities across the world.
He also revealed plans to update the Covenant of Mayors, which currently commits more than 6,000 cities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2020. This is likley to take place at another conference in October.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said the pledge sent a strong signal to governments and businesses of cities' commitment to tackling climate change. "This is a message of mobilisation and unity, but also hope for the Cop 21 and generally beyond for years," she said.