Key messages | WWF

Key messages

Cities are the new hot spots
  •  Cities are the new hot spots of global environmental change. They are the leading growth centres of population, consumption, resource use and waste.
  •  In cities, everything is closely connected. So problems tend to multiply – and so can solutions. Cities can exploit positive synergies, or struggle with negative ones.

Cities have abundant opportunities
  • Cities have massive leverage over their ecological footprints. Their choices on energy, transport, or building standards, for example, affect huge numbers of users.
  • Cities have major impacts on biodiversity via habitat loss, pollution, contribution to climate change, over-exploitation of species' populations, and introduction of invasive species.
  • Cities can improve quality of life while cutting environmental impact. Cities have the option of making smarter choices for housing, transport, energy, green space, water, and waste.
  • Cities must lead the clean energy revolution to combat climate change by supporting renewables, efficiency, smart metering, and green retrofits.

Good stewardship rewards itself
  • Well-governed and well-designed cities are more sustainable along every dimension, through win-win-win synergies.
  • Cities can and must be the centres of change. Cities have huge capacities for learning and innovation – and competitive pressures to do so.

Cities need urgent focus
  • The majority of future growth in urban populations will take place in small and fast-growing cities, not mega-cities. Diffusing good practices to the huge number of these fast-growing cities is decisive.

Early innovators can produce a “snowball effect”

Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century

	© Edward Parker / WWF
© Edward Parker / WWF
	© WWF
	© WWF
The Earth Hour City Challenge aims to identify and reward cities leading the global transition toward a climate friendly, one planet future.

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	© © NASA & Michael Buckley / WWF-Canada
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