Handbook that takes cities towards climate-neutrality

By Vishal Gulati

Bonn, Nov 12 (IANS) A US-based non-profit institute that aims for clean, prosperous and secure low-carbon future on Sunday announced actions for cities to move towards climate-neutrality.

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) released “The Carbon-Free City Handbook” on the sidelines of the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) here. It was published with the support of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

As cities remain at the forefront of climate change risk and opportunity, over 7,000 cities have announced a collective intention to address climate change and nearly 600 cities, representing 444 million people, have made climate commitments to the Compact of Mayors.

But these commitments must be substantiated with on-the-ground solutions that enable cities to make rapid progress toward near-term decarbonisation, and put them on a path to full climate-neutrality.

“Together, cities around the world can have a meaningful and substantial impact on one of the most pressing challenges and opportunities that we will face in our lifetimes and for generations to come,” Mayor of the City of Vancouver Gregor Robertson said.

The Carbon-Free City Handbook is a resource for city leaders around the world to take real and meaningful action toward their commitments with 22 ready-to-implement, no-regrets solutions that have proven a success.

According to the RMI, each recommendation draws off the work of more than 50 city leaders and sustainability directors and is a meaningful action that almost any city can pursue and apply locally, with results visible within a year.

Ideas are nearly universally applicable for cities with a population of 100,000-plus with compelling economics.

“Cities can get be dragged down into endless planning and measurement. Yes, metrics matter. But, ambitious actions matter more,” said handbook co-author Jacob Corvidae.

“This handbook helps cities move to action faster. Don’t wait for plans to be completed when you can get moving on meaningful actions now.”

Increasingly, cities are looking to work together to find the best solutions, and have the opportunity to harness the power of their peers to bring trusted solutions to their own locations.

The handbook celebrates the women and men who have driven solutions in hopes that others can learn from them and remove as much guesswork as possible.

(Vishal Gulati is in Bonn at the invitation of the Global Editors Network to cover COP23. He can be contacted at vishal.g@ians.in)

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