London: Consumption-based emissions from nearly 100 of the world's big cities already represent 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, a new study said on Wednesday. Without urgent action, those emissions will nearly double by 2050.
The study by C40 Cities revealed an incredible opportunity for cities and their citizens to contribute even more to the global effort to cut emissions and address the climate emergency.
The research titled 'The future of urban consumption in a 1.5 degrees Celsius world' was produced in partnership with Arup - The University of Leeds, and cautioned that urban consumption-based emissions must be cut by at least 50 per cent by 2030 in order to maintain the possibility of keeping global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees.
When combined with firm city efforts to reduce local emissions, this would allow cities to deliver 35 per cent of the emission savings needed to put them on a path to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
High-income areas, which generate the bulk of emissions, need to cut their emissions much faster two-thirds by 2030. Fortunately, the research finds that if nations, business, cities and citizens take ambitious climate action over the next 10 years, cities will be on track to reduce their emissions in line with a 1.5 degrees Celsius world.
"Stopping the climate crisis requires keeping global temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Transforming the global economy to deliver on that goal will require action on a scale never seen before in peacetime," said Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40 Cities.
"This is a wake-up call for all leaders, business, and citizens to consider both the local and global climate impact of the things they consume and an opportunity to better engage citizens and businesses in solving the climate emergency.a
The report explores six sectors where leaders, businesses, and citizens in the world's cities can take rapid action to address consumption-based emissions: food, construction, clothing, vehicles, aviation, and electronics.
There is significant potential to cut consumption-based emissions in these sectors.
Together these actions would save around 1.5 GtCO2e per year by 2030. When combined with existing city climate commitments, this would deliver 35 per cent of necessary reductions in consumption-based emissions needed to put C40 cities on a 1.5 degrees Celsius trajectory.