Investing In Low-Carbon Cities Could Save $17 Trillion By 2050
Thursday, September 10, 2015
New research suggests that by investing in low-carbon infrastructure, including transport, building efficiency, and waste management, cities could save $17 trillion by 2050, while also reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 3.7 gigatons of CO2 per year by 2030.
The research, published by the New Climate Economy under the title Accelerating Low-Carbon Development in the World’s Cities, makes the economic case for low-carbon strategies, and is a supporting paper to a larger work, titled Seizing the Global Opportunity: Partnerships for Better Growth and a Better Climate. This paper is yet another strong advocate for low-carbon action, not just for the climate’s sake, but also as a means for saving money and improving the quality of life in cities.
“As shown in Better Growth, Better Climate, cities have much to gain from adopting more compact, connected and efficient forms of development: greater economic productivity and appeal to investors, improved air quality and public health, reduced poverty and enhanced safety, and substantial avoided infrastructure and public service costs. For urban leaders, low-carbon strategies are thus as much about building healthier, more liveable and more productive cities as about reducing GHG emissions.” – New Climate Economy
With cities growing at an unprecedented rate in the developing world, a move toward low-carbon development is becoming increasingly important, as an estimated 60% of the global population will live in urban areas by 2030, producing about 87% of the global GDP by then. Cities are currently responsible for up to 76% of all energy use worldwide, as well as up to 76% of all energy-related GHG emissions, so increasing efficiencies and reducing emissions at the city level has the potential to have a big impact, for better or for worse, in the years to come.