The EU Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (EUCoM) requires their member cities to commit to exceeding their national goals. EUCoM is one of the world’s largest subnational climate action networks, with over 1,000 cities and home to 50m people. Writing for Carbon Brief, Angel Hsu, Nihit Goyal and Amy Weinfurter at Yale-NUS College review the data to see how successful they have been. About 40% of the cities show emission reductions that are steeper than what their respective governments have achieved. The authors also uncover some interesting observations. Per-capita GDP, population or population density appear to have no effect on performance. They note that the higher the per capita emissions, the more success the city has in reducing them – no surprise, perhaps, as there are more “easy win” inefficiencies to fix. The data points to what appear to be the winning strategies, from behavioural change such as pedestrian mobility and cycling and public awareness campaigns, to installing high-efficiency glass in buildings, replacing heating systems and using biomass boilers. The authors end with a plea to improve the monitoring of city level climate performance. If cities around the world are facing similar challenges, they would do well to share their knowledge and winning strategies. At the time of writing, more than 10,000 cities around the world have committed to some form of climate action. These efforts range from setting emission reduction targets to adopting clean energy and sustainable transport projects, as well as energy efficiency policies. While some city-level climate initiatives fulfil national requirements, many are more ambitious and extend beyond their respective national governments’ efforts. Subnational climate efforts may play a critical role in closing the widening emissions gap between current policies and global climate goals.
Energy Post 11th Sept 2020 read more »