Low-carbon cities ‘a $17 trillion opportunity’

New research has suggested that investing in public and low-emission transport could bring massive financial savings in addition to making a sizeable contribution to reducing greenhouse gases.

New research has suggested that investing in public and low-emission transport could bring massive financial savings in addition to making a sizeable contribution to reducing greenhouse gases.

The research is presented in a report Accelerating Low-Carbon Development in the World’s Cities by New Climate Economy, an offshoot of a seven-country economy and climate initiative involving three European states (UK, Norway and Sweden). It calculates that investing in public and low-emission transport, as well as efficiency and waste management in cities, could generate savings of $17 trillion (€15.2 trillion) by 2050, and cut 3.7 Gt CO2e in greenhouse gases by 2030. It describes low-carbon cities as ‘a $17 trillion opportunity worldwide’.

The report recommends that national governments should legislate to allow cities to take their own action to reduce emissions and encourage the growth of low-emission development strategies.

The former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, now the UN special envoy on cities and climate change, said: ‘The steps that cities take to shrink their carbon footprints also reduce their energy costs, improve public health, and help them attract new residents and businesses. This report can help accelerate the progress cities are making in all these areas.’