Cities produce 75 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions. “The transition to a sustainable economy will be won or lost in our cities,” states the Carbon Disclosure Project.
Last week, 12 cities signed a Fossil-Fuel-Free Streets Declaration prepared by the C40 Climate Cities Leadership Group, pledging to achieve zero emissions by 2030. Get ready, residents of London, Paris, Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Quito, Vancouver, Mexico City, Milan, Seattle, Auckland, and Cape Town.
Some of the cities, including Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Paris, are among the top ozone-producing megacities in the world.
Most of the fossil-fuel-free efforts will focus on transportation. Objectives include increasing rates of walking, biking and public transit use, reducing the number of polluting vehicles on the streets and adding more zero-emissions vehicles to city fleets.
“The largest sources of air pollution are also the largest sources of carbon emissions — and in many cities, transportation is the biggest culprit,” says former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, president of C40’s board.
There are more than a dirty dozen of cities that haven’t yet taken the pledge. Cities in China, India, and Saudi Arabia comprise 17 of the top 20 for worst air quality.