; What can cities do to reach the climate targets for 2050? - Strive

Focus on transportation

When talking about climate change, we often focus on the private sector, but we cannot forget about the role cities play in reaching our goals. According to the CDP, currently, 81% of cities that report to the CDP are facing significant climate risks and vulnerabilities. Cities are seeing the effects of climate change, from droughts and heat waves to floods and other climate disasters. Cities must get ahead of these issues for the good of their citizens. With the growth of the urban population and the growing climate crisis, there is a need for climate change adaptation and mitigation. To reduce the impact cities, play on climate change, we should focus on two key factors: buildings and transportation. For this article, we will focus on transportation.

What role do cities play?

Cities play a key role in climate change, according to the UN Environment Programme, “Cities are responsible for 75 percent of global CO2e emissions, with transport and buildings being among the largest contributors”. They play the role of regulators, demand setters, and builders of platforms for public-private collaboration to reach sustainability roles. Road vehicles are responsible for around “18% of global energy emissions …, of which 60% come from passenger vehicles”. According to the World Economic Forum, “by electrifying urban fleets, we would be able to mitigate more than 70% of CO2e emissions from urban mobility,” and remove 50% of city air pollution.

What can they do?

When talking about sustainable cities, we should focus on the impact of transportation. There has been a strive towards 15-minute cities, which not only improves the lifestyle of the population but also allows for emission-free mobility. These cities ensure residents can access necessary goods and services, within short trips. There are a few examples of cities leading the way in the “15-minute city” concept, such as Paris, Melbourne’s 20 Minute Neighbourhoods, and Bogotá’s Barrios Vitales. According to C40, a 15-minute city, also has “a variety of housing types, of different sizes and levels of affordability, to accommodate many types of households and enable more people to live closer to where they work. Residents of every neighbourhood can breathe clean air, free of harmful air pollutants and there are green spaces for everyone to enjoy. More people can work close to home or remotely, thanks to the presence of smaller-scale offices, retail and hospitality, and co-working spaces”. Cities should also look for inspiration from other cities, such as Rotterdam’s Zero Emission Urban Logistics, which will establish an emission-free zone in 2025. These refer to delivery services, supermarket supply shipping, construction transportation, etc. Regarding public transit, cities should move towards electric transportation and stop investing in a high-emitting fleet. Cities should also move towards less emitting sources of mobility, encouraging citizens to use non-motorized solutions, e-scooters, or electric car-sharing options.

How can Strive help?

Strive can help cities and businesses understand the impact of their activities on our climate through an organizational carbon footprint calculation, this is the first step of the sustainability journey. Once we have the numbers of your impact, we begin to plan the reduction strategy to ensure you can reach the climate targets for 2050, or even better, 2030. We will not be able to reach these goals without cities. To start investing accordingly, they need to analyse the origin of emissions and start working on those with a higher CO2e impact.

In conclusion, cities should go forward in addressing their transportation emissions to ensure that they are habitable in the future. Cities do this by playing a role with other actors through their platforms of collaboration together with legislation and financing. As no two cities are exactly alike, attention should be given in the future to what each sort of city can accomplish based on its size, spending capacity, and level of development. In this manner, as we advance through the just transition, we can guarantee growth while ensuring that no one is left behind.

Written by Macarena de Arriba Cadahía.