The Urbane Ecologist

The C40 Summit convened for Day 2 and released their Climate Action in Megacities Volume 2.0 report

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The C40 Summit released its Climate Action in Megacities Volume 2.0 report today, in partnership with Arup. The press release accompanying the report details the most significant findings, which include the following:

  • reported action has nearly doubled since 2011
  • 98% of cities recognize climate change as a threat that presents significant risk
  • the greatest increase in reported actions was found in the Transport sector

The 63 C40 Cities represent 600 million people worldwide.

I did not manage to catch the whole thing on live stream, but I managed to catch Plenary Session 3, and it was very engaging! (Here is the full schedule.)

Plenary Session 3 was a conference among Mayors Ahmed Aboutaleb (Rotterdam), Debira Kuma (Addis Ababa), Michael Nutter (Philadelphia), Giorgio Orsoni (Venice), and Ignazio Marino (Rome), and was moderated by Adam Freed, Direct of Global Securing Water (Nature Conservancy).

The entire conversation was very engaging and they touched on many issues of importance. I found the following comments most interesting:

  • Rotterdam’s adaptation plan is centered around the idea that adaptation is an opportunity for the city, rather than a burden. The mayor also pointed out that water is so important to the city of Rotterdam (where the biggest port in the West is located) and to the country as a whole, that places on the regional water boards are actually elected offices. The mayor concluded by saying that climate change is a tool to improve the economy and society.
  • Addis Ababa’s mayor highlighted the need to reconcile short-term with long-term planning (i.e. coping vs adaptation).
  • Philadelphia’s mayor discussed the challenges of explaining certain problems to his constituents in terms of climate change, and how one can’t begin addressing the issues with constituents as a climate issue, but as a quality of issue. “If I tried to talk about stormwater drains, my meetings would last five minutes. Stormwater is not exciting. If I wanted it to be exciting, I would talk about it to a group of stormwwater engineers,” he said. Instead, issues facing Philadelphia were often framed in terms of playgrounds where residents’ children played, or in terms of things like property values. “Our residents have real lives and don’t pay attention to the type of things we do.” Mayor Nutter also touched on the inefficacy of the federal government, and the consequent need for grassroots action. He referred to the C40 group as “mayors getting things done”.

Watch tomorrow’s talks and seminars! They will be broadcast, too!

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