The battle for life on Earth will be won or lost in cities.
An urbanizing planet
Cities have huge footprintsThe global footprint of cities is quite daunting. Both directly through urban sprawl, but even more indirectly through consumption in cities. Urban dwellers’ growing appetites for various food groups, goods and energy services put increasing pressure on the world’s land, waters and climate. More than 70 per cent of all fossil fuel related CO2 emissions today are generated by residents in cities.
Attractive urban One Planet lifestylesThe good news is that solutions already exist that can provide urban dwellers with attractive lifestyles within their fair share of the planet’s biological capacity.
However increased political leadership, public engagement and entrepreneurship are all required if these solutions are to be instrumental in making such a positive transformation of cities possible. WWF’s emerging work on sustainable cities aims to inspire and support this transformation.
Finance Toolkit for Sustainable Cities
Over half the world’s population currently reside in cities, which are responsible for well over 70% of global CO2 emissions. As the trend toward urbanization continues, it is projected that hundreds of trillions of dollars will be invested in urban infrastructure and use in the coming three decades. WWF is convinced that these investments must be leveraged to ensure the creation of sustainable cities thereby reversing the trend of escalating emissions. Read more here.
What WWF is doing
- The Earth Hour City Challenge: is an initiative designed by WWF to mobilize action and support from cities in the global transition towards a 100% renewable future. It also aims to stimulate the development and dissemination of best practices for climate mitigation and adaptation.
- Urban Solutions: a global inventory of 100+ learning cases from sustainable urban development.
- Low Carbon Cities initiative: exploring low carbon development models in different cities in China in order to learn from and replicate successful experiences.
- Massive Open Online Course: on sustainable cities developed with Lund University and available for free. The course starts January 18, 2016.
WWF's Carina Bergström-Hansson claims that "the battle for a future where humans live in harmony with nature will be won or lost in cities". Here she explains why the creation of truly sustainable cities is absolutely crucial to winning this battle, and how initiatives like WWF's Earth Hour City Challenge, which focus on the transition towards a sustainable and renewable energy system is the key to success.