With many countries struggling to cut their emissions and the current state of climate emergency, this is how our cities can inspire change. We share the initiatives of 5 leading cities reducing their carbon footprint.
Today, cities occupy 3% of the Earth’s land but account for two-thirds of the world’s energy demand and 70% of CO2 emissions. The large carbon footprint of cities also impacts air quality, raising growing concerns about the health and well-being of citizens. In fact, 91% of the world’s population currently lives in places where air quality levels exceed the World Health Organization’s limits. In other words, the impact of cities is enormous.
However, many countries and cities are working towards lower emissions and being environmentally friendly. These eco-conscious cities have put in measures and policies that have helped them achieve their goals. They have reduced pollutants being released into the environment. The benefits of lower emissions are very many, and this is how these five cities are working towards it.
1. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen has prioritized sustainability and environmental awareness. It has become public policy and a way of life for the inhabitants. Copenhagen is considered a green city globally and is working towards becoming the first carbon-neutral city by 2025. Here are some of their green initiatives of this Denmark’s city to reduce its carbon footprint:
- The infrastructure in the cities is designed to facilitate walking and cycling, so the people don’t have to move around in cars all the time.
- They have a warning system for the quality of water. It monitors pollution levels, and they have efficient energy use tactics.
- The city’s chilled and heat is produced centrally before it’s distributed to the surrounding neighbourhoods.
- Their emergency preparedness and sensitivity to the climate has also helped.
- They have struggled to preserve their green spaces, and the greenness is still one of the leading assets in the city.
- The city plans to reform its structures to more energy-efficient buildings.
2. London, United Kingdom
London is one of the most sustainable cities in the world, as they’ve come up with different strategies to ensure they lower their emission levels. Here’s what this English city to reduce its carbon footprint:
- Most of their air pollution comes from cars and other forms of road transport. That is why they have come up with more cycling lanes, new buses, road closures and electric taxis. That has helped lower the pollution levels a great deal.
- More and more people embrace bicycles as a mode of transport, and companies are going green to help with the course. Taxation in London also encourages low emission cars over the other vehicles.
- The Ultra-Low Emission Zone has innovative strategies that are meant to help with climate change. They have also involved the residents in their different strategies and plans through policies and creating awareness.
3. San Diego, California, USA
San Diego’s city council approved the Climate Action Plan in 2015, which has helped the city be recognized as one of the most sustainable cities in the US. Here’s how San Diego’s city reduces its carbon footprint:
- The plan calls the city to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by half in 2035.
- It also includes the plan for one hundred percent renewable electricity.
- Aside from achieving some of their emission reduction goals, they are also more prepared for some of the anticipated climatic changes impacts.
- The city is also working towards producing more clean energy and has encouraged walking and bicycling.
- The city has zero waste measures in place in its action plan.
- The aim is to improve the resident’s quality of life, conserve more water, improve air quality, and reduce emissions.
4. Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver is renowned worldwide for green living: it’s one of the clean cities in the world and the cleanest in Canada. That is why in the whole of North America, they have registered the lowest greenhouse gas emissions. So how is Vancouver’s city reducing its carbon footprint?
- They have a significant hydroelectricity supply, and that is how the city runs on 90% renewable energy.
- Their mass transportation networks have grown to limit the number of people using cars around the city.
- They are also changing the structure of the city’s buildings to make them more energy-efficient.
- They have popular and well-established environmental groups like Greenpeace Canada that help with the agenda.
- The Greenest City Action Plan has involved the locals and businesses to reduce emissions in Vancouver.
5. Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm is one of the most populated cities in Sweden. They have effective and clear measures for reducing pollution. Since 1995 the greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by 25%, and they are still working on ways to get the numbers further down. Here’s how Stockholm’s city reduces its carbon footprint:
- All the inner-city buses and trains operate with renewable energy.
- Their efforts to generate international and local environmental awareness have also helped them become greener or eco-conscious.
- Their ambition is to become fossil fuel energy-free by 2040.
- They want to be adapted to climate change, and they are working with others to ensure all the goals and ambitions are met.
- The eco-smart city has adopted policies like the environment program that is working towards the bigger bottom line.
These five cities are working tirelessly to reduce emissions and create a more sustainable living environment. Their efforts are widely recognized and applauded by many organizations and people around the world. The green cities are setting an example for all urban living areas across the globe. Their active approach to being environmentally friendly involves inhabitants; that is why it works best.