Greener cities are largest factor in preventing global warming
By Jack Loughran
Greener cities are the most important element in the fight against climate change and sticking to temperature rises agreed upon in the Paris Agreement, according to climate experts.
Signed at the end of 2015 and ratified last year, the deal intends to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
“Whether we win or lose, or (will) be able to really achieve that goal of 1.5°C – that battle will be waged at the city level,” said Milag San Jose-Ballesteros, director for Southeast Asia and Oceania with C40, a network of over 80 cities representing some 600 million people.
World temperatures hit a record high for the third year in a row in 2016, at around 1.1°C higher than before the Industrial Revolution ushered in wide use of fossil fuels. They will likely rise by 3°C or more by 2100 if trends continue, many projections show.
Keeping global warming below 2°C would limit the worst effects of sea-level rise, melting of Arctic sea ice, damage to coral reefs and acidification of oceans, according to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.