World cities to invest USD 375 billion to fight climate change

The world’s major cities will need to invest around USD 375 billion over the next four years to fight climate change, said Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo.

“It is a lot, but there is no other option. Together we will seek that money,” Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo told a large gathering of mayors at the C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico City last week. Hidalgo is the new president of C40 Cities, a network of some of the world’s largest cities.

Rio de Janeiro mayor Roberto Paes emphasised that the USD 375 billion does not necessarily refer to new funding as some of the money that countries are setting aside to comply with the targets set by the Paris Agreement has already been earmarked by cities to fight climate change, reports Xinhua.

“Cities have already been investing for countering global warming,” he said.

According to C40 executive director Mark Watts, the world’s big cities must collectively cut their carbon footprint by nearly half within ten years if the Paris Agreement is to be met, reports AFP.

Most of the money needed by cities to accomplish this will be spent on switching from fossil fuels to clean energy sources such as solar and wind. Cities are also planning to reduce harmful emissions by promoting cycling and public transport.

As we reported here last week, in one such initiative the mayors of Madrid, Mexico City and Paris committed to removing diesel engines from their cities by 2025 to improve air quality.

Other successful initiatives already implemented by cities were honoured with the C40 Cities Awards last week. These include Africa’s first light rail transit project built in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; an urban agriculture project in Curitiba, Brazil that both cuts CO2 emissions and provides food to 20,000 citizens per year; and a waste management programme in Calcutta, India that has reduced open dumping by 35 per cent.

Image credit: C40 Cities


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