C40: 30 cities have reached peak emissions

Thirty of the world's largest cities, including London, New York and Copenhagen, have now reached a peak in their greenhouse gas emissions, according to new analysis which has examined the climate actions of cities aiming to curb emissions by 2020.

C40: 30 cities have reached peak emissions

Los Angeles is one of the cities to have reached peak emissions

The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, which consists of 94 cities aiming to lead on climate action, has revealed that 30 of its members have now peaked their emissions. Cities such as Austin, Athens, Lisbon, and Venice are the latest to reach the milestone. The 30 cities have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 22%.

“The C40 cities that have reached peak emissions are raising the bar for climate ambition, and at the same time, exemplifying how climate action creates healthier, more equitable and resilient communities,” C40 Cities’ executive director Mark Watts said.

“But this is nothing to win medals for – emissions across the whole world need to stop rising and start falling within the next year, if we are to keep global heating below 1.5 degrees. With the vast amount of expertise and resources now available through the C40 Knowledge Hub, we’re going to see even more cities accelerating their climate action to limit global heating and deliver the future we want.”

In total, the C40 members represent one-twelfth of the world’s population and one-quarter of the global economy. The 30 cities that have peaked emissions represent more than 58 million citizens.

The 30 cities are: Athens, Austin, Barcelona, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Copenhagen, Heidelberg, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Melbourne, Milan, Montréal, New Orleans, New York City, Oslo, Paris, Philadelphia, Portland, Rome, San Francisco, Stockholm, Sydney, Toronto, Vancouver, Venice, Warsaw, and Washington, D.C.

2020 Deadline

The cities have been working as part of the C40’s Deadline 2020 programme. In total, half of all C40 cities have already reached peak emissions, are projected to achieve peak emissions by 2020, or have made public commitments to do so.

The analysis highlights the policy instruments introduced to enable cities to peak their emissions. A total of 82 cities have implemented cycle hire schemes, compared to 13 in 2009. More than 66,000 electric buses are now in operation within these cities, compared to less than 100 in 10 years ago. A total of 24 cities have committed to achieving 100% renewables by 2030 and 18 have banned or restricted use of non-recyclable plastics, compared to just two in 2009.

Changes to the transport mix have been the biggest drivers of the levels of decarbonisation. A total of 17 cities have placed restrictions on high-polluting vehicles, compared to three in 2009.

Matt Mace

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