Mayoral decisions pivotal to climate change–report

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With high-stakes climate talks underway in Paris, a new report says that decisions by city leaders over the next five years could determine the course of climate change. The report, Climate Action in Megacities 3.0, was published by C40 Cities and Arup.

The study provides a broad overview of municipal-level responses to warming temperatures, heatwaves, ferocious storms and rising seas. Among the key conclusions: the scale of action is increasing. Sixty-six cities today are actively combatting climate change, compared to 36 in 2011, the report says. More than half of the efforts are citywide, compared to just 15 percent four years ago, it adds.

The report notes that cities are collaborating more to incorporate lessons learned elsewhere. For example, 30 percent of all climate actions conducted by C40 cities involve teaming with other metropolises, often through networks such as C40. Meanwhile, cities are increasingly tapping into their own funding and savings, especially for citywide endeavors that have been successfully piloted.

“Decisions made by mayors within the next five years will determine whether or not the world is set on a high or low carbon pathway,” the report’s sponsors conclude here. “Mayors and city leaders are therefore pivotal actors in any foreseeable solution to the warming of our planet.”

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