Thursday, May 6, 2021
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HomeWorldGuterres Urges Cities To Embrace ‘Generational Opportunity’ For Climate Action, Sustainable Development

Guterres Urges Cities To Embrace ‘Generational Opportunity’ For Climate Action, Sustainable Development


The United Nations Secretary-General, on Friday, called
for a “revolution” in urban planning and urban transport
to beat back impacts of climate change and build a green and
sustainable future for all.

Addressing the C40 Mayors
Climate Alliance, Secretary-General
António Guterres
highlighted the that cities and urban
centres are “on the frontlines” of the climate crisis,
emitting more than 70 per cent of global greenhouse gases as
well as facing risks ranging from rising sea levels to
deadly storms.

But cities can also boost climate
action, clean energy and sustainable development, through
more effective strategies and policies, especially as they
recover from the impacts of the coronavirus
pandemic, he added.

“Investment
in recovery is a generational opportunity to put climate
action, clean energy and sustainable development at the
heart of cities’ strategies and policies”, Mr. Gtuerres
said.

“How we design power generation, transport and
buildings in cities – how we design the cities themselves
– will be decisive in getting on track to achieve the Paris
Agreement
on climate change and the Sustainable
Development Goals
(SDGs).”

Act on three
fronts

The UN chief called for urgent action in three
key areas, urging Mayors to work with national leaders to
develop and present ambitious Nationally
Determined Contributions
or NDCs, well before the 26th
session of Conference
of the Parties
(COP26)
to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), this November in
Glasgow.

“They need to hear from you
that climate action coupled with policies for a just
transition brings decent work and higher living standards
and is supported by your residents”, he
said.

Mr. Guterres also called on the
local leaders to commit their cities to net-zero by 2050,
make ambitious plans for the next decade.

He also
urged them use the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic to
accelerate investment and implementation in clean, green
infrastructure and transport systems.

End coal
use

The Secretary-General also highlighted the
importance of ending the use of coal as the “single most
important step” the world can take to ensure temperature
rise is limited to 1.5 degree Celsius.

“Cities stand
to gain most from phasing out coal: clean air, green outdoor
spaces, healthier people”, he said, calling for at least
80 per cent of power generation in cities from renewable
energy sources by 2030.

Mr. Guterres also noted that
innovations urban transport and urban planning, would
further help cut emissions and improve wellbeing. He also
highlighted the importance of financial resources for cities
to address gaps in the investments needed to drive such
efforts.

© Scoop Media

 



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