4 minute read 15 Jul 2019
Multicoloured stairs

How climate action can deliver better outcomes for communities

Collaboration and inclusion are at the centre of leading climate action planning.

Over the past 200 years, the world’s urban population has grown from 3% to more than 50%. This figure is expected to rise to 70% by 2050. As the world becomes increasingly urbanised cities are increasingly becoming key actors driving action to avoid dangerous climate change. Thoughout the world cities are the face of leadership on climate action.

Cities and climate change

Metropolitan regions currently consume more than two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions. Cities also have the greatest amount to lose from climate change due to the potential impacts of changing weather patterns and extreme events that lessen the resilience of cities and their communities.

EY's paper, Can Climate Action Deliver Better Outcomes for Communitites discusses some of the challenges cities face when responding to climate change and offers solutions based on leading practices to support the transition of cities to a sustainable future

If we are to deliver on the aim of the Paris Agreement, to strengthen the global response to climate change through efforts to limit temperature increase to well below 2°C, then action at the city level to mitigate and adapt to climate change is crucial.

The role of local governments in tackling climate change is multifaceted relying on its leadership, advocacy and support to unlock emissions reductions and build up community adaptive capacity. Long-term climate action plans that give careful consideration to the impact climate action will have on its community, economy and environment are needed. Developing an evidence-based climate action plan can help cities to articulate its ‘fair share’ of the global effort to avoid dangerous climate change whilst delivering positive outcomes locally and avoiding detrimental impacts on vulnerable groups within the community.

Measuring community-scale emissions, identifying actions to reduce emissions, and establishing methods to measure and monitor the socio-economic impact of actions is essential.

Guidance, standards and leading practice examples are emerging to support cities’ approach to climate action planning. A growing number of cities are taking bold and transformative action to reduce emissions, contributing to global efforts to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. At the same time cities are also identifying ways of creating future cities that are inclusive and capitalising on the social and economic benefits of leading climate action planning. 

Summary

Cities leading the charge to reduce emissions and design different futures, can provide solutions to best practice questions that other municipalities looking to transition to a sustainable future might have. 

About this article

By EY Oceania

Multidisciplinary professional services organization