Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Reporting Climate Change - Carbon Footprints for Cities

Carbon Disclosure Project - The Case for City Disclosure(24 page pdf, Accenture, Carbon Disclosure Project, Nov. 2010)

Also discussed here: CDP Pushes Cities to Disclose Their Climate Impact (Triple Pundit, Nov. 2, 2010)

Cities are now the home for more than 50% of the world’s population (predicted to rise to 60 percent by 2030, and 70 percent by mid-century, according to UN figures) and generate as much as 80% of the greenhouse gas emissions. Curbing the damaging aspects of climate change will depend on cities taking action to adapt or mitigate the impacts and to reduce carbon emissions. The report reviewed today describes a disclosure system used for reporting emissions by companies world wide that could be used for cities.

Key Quotes:

" Cities only occupy about 2% of the world's land, but house half of its population....could contribute up to 80% of the globe's total emissions"

“the inhabitants of some cities have an increased likelihood of climate change-related health issues, such as heat exhaustion and increased incidence of tropical disease provoked by rising temperatures”

“Cities have the unique ability to respond to a global issue like climate change at a local, more visceral level, and cities usually offer more immediate and effective communication between the public and decision makers. Cobenefits of climate change mitigation and adaptation schemes are largest in cities” (World Bank)

“climate change reporting can become an essential component to enable cities to:

  • Drive economic competitiveness through the realization of operational efficiencies and the attraction of investment and innovation;

  • Improve climate change risk management;

  • Demonstrate the value of cities’ sustainability strategies to society”

“Cities are using climate change action plans as a means to overhaul ageing infrastructure, engage and educate their residents, generate new jobs and businesses, and implement broad, far-reaching sustainability agendas”

“Each city is different and faces distinct challenges in reducing GHG emissions. Cities should not be judged simply on a series of quantitative metrics, but on a complete picture of the unique situation of the city”

“A recent study for the City of Chicago estimated the total cost impact of anticipated climate change on city departments and functions for the 2010–2099 period is $2.54 billion under a “high-emissions scenario” and $690 million under a “low-emissions scenario.”

“The city mapped Chicago’s hottest spots and overlaid a map of phone calls regarding heat-related emergencies to assess the correlation between the urban heat island and heat stress-related issues to help inform its cooling and energy efficiency strategies”

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