Los Angeles – A report released today by global infrastructure firm AECOM and non-profit organization CDP, sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies, reveals the challenges faced by global cities and the opportunities they see for collaboration. Nearly 300 global cities have called for collaborative action to combat the economic and environmental impact of the changing climate. The report, It Takes a City: the Case for Collaborative Climate Action, estimates the 720 climate change-related projects required by cities represented in the report are worth a combined US$26 billion.
The report examines the emerging business case for city governments to collaborate with companies, investors and regional governments to mitigate the impact of climate change. More than half of the respondents (56 percent) believe this will lead to opportunities for the development of new businesses or industries linked to climate change action. The key climate-related areas where cities are seeking private-sector collaboration are energy efficiency/retrofits, renewable energy and transport. Of the 190 cities with emissions reduction targets, 74 percent are already collaborating with business to achieve them.
The report includes data from 533 cities in 89 countries—a 70-percent increase over last year. The vast majority (89 percent) view climate change as a significant risk, 44 percent have a climate action plan, and 36 percent have city-wide emissions reduction targets. The top emission reduction activities reported by cities include energy efficiency/retrofit measures, infrastructure for non-motorized transport, low or zero-carbon energy generation, and waste prevention policies and programs.
“This data supports what we are seeing in our direct dealings with cities,” said Ben Smith, director of sustainable development, AECOM. “Cities the world over are identifying their priorities to reduce emissions, adapt to climate impacts and increase resilience, but more and more they are looking for partners to help them develop robust business cases and realise the solutions.”
“Our report shows that cities do not need to go it alone when it comes to responding to climate change,” said Maia Kutner, head of cities at CDP. “They are recognizing there is power in numbers, which is why so many came together to form the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy this June. By partnering with the private sector, cities can not only spur the growth of new markets, they can deliver even greater emissions reductions.”
AECOM’s fifth year of partnering with CDP on the annual report fits within a broad range of the company’s efforts to help cities address climate change. AECOM recently developed the CURB tool, a decision-making framework to help cities prioritize cost-effective climate actions, and is working to develop resiliency strategies with dozens of cities around the world as part of the 100 Resilient Cities program.
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