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Cities will be key to a low carbon, resilient global economy able to address and adapt to climate change. Many are emerging as leaders cutting emissions and greening infrastructure. Photo ©Pline

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A new series of studies released this week by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate highlight how cities develop will be critical to achieving economic growth and tackling climate change.

Building on the Better Growth, Better Climate report released in September that sets out a ten point global action plan for governments and businesses to secure better growth in a low-carbon economy, the new series of studies provide real-world examples and opportunities to build cleaner, more competitive cities throughout the world.

One of the case-studies focuses on the city of Lima, which next week hosts global climate negotiations. Lima currently has over 7 million inhabitants and is one of the fastest growing cities in Latin America. Without further action it will see substantial increases in energy bills, which will be bad for the poor, and more greenhouse gas emissions, which will be bad for the climate.

Research conducted for the Global Commission shows that through effective investments in transport Lima can reduce its carbon emissions by 15% by 2025 while saving citizens US$1.1 billion per annum in energy bills. If done well, these investments would be paid back in less than 3 years, building on the improvements already implemented in the city.

The reports highlight how the world’s 724 largest cities could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 1.4 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually by 2030 through better, more efficient transport systems, and that shifts towards more compact, connected development can create cities which are better for people to live in, more economically competitive and also lower carbon emissions.

The Climate Economy Press Release can be found here.

The new series of studies can be downloaded here.

Photo by flickr user: Elena Griškevičiūtė

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