By 2030, emissions from urban consumption must be reduced by 50% by 2030 and by 80% by 2050 to avoid a “catastrophic” climate crisis, a study by the C40 city group warned.
Emissions of greenhouse gases
The C40 organization brings together 94 of the largest cities on the planet, where more than 700 million inhabitants live and a quarter of the world economy develops.
The analysis, the first of this magnitude and carried out with the consulting firm Arup and the British University of Leeds, is conclusive: this cut per capita is essential to maintain the possibility that the increase in temperature at the end of the century will not exceed 1.5 degrees.
The greatest effort will have to be made by European countries, the United States and East Asia, who are being asked to reduce the climate impact of their consumption by two thirds in the next decade, where changes in food, construction, clothing, transportation and electronics.
While Latin America, Africa and South and West Asia have the challenge of adopting sustainable models in their development.
The study calculates that emissions related to food consumption should decrease by a third by 2030 and for this it would be necessary to convert the diet into vegetarian, consume healthy amounts and avoid food waste. A person's annual meat consumption could be reduced from the current 58 kilos to 16. Eating less red meat and more fruits and vegetables could prevent 160,000 annual deaths linked to heart attacks, cancer or diabetes.
C40 mayors, businesses, and city dwellers are also being urged to take joint action to bring emissions from construction down 26% by 2030, with incentives to reduce the use of steel and cement or make the most of the capacity of the C40. buildings
Regarding transport, it will be necessary to cut emissions related to private road transport by 28%, or 26% in aviation, on which it indicates that “there should be an average reduction of 28% in the number of flights between cities in the C40 ".
Also reducing flights and using sustainable fuel could avoid 70 million dollars (62 million euros) in damages derived from air pollution. Reducing private vehicle use in C40 cities could save 170 million square meters of street parking space, in favor of some 2.5 million trees or 25,000 kilometers of cycle paths.
The cities that belong to this network also include Madrid, Barcelona, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, Berlin, London, Istanbul, Rome, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Bogotá, Rio de Janeiro, Lima, Santiago de Chile, New York, Los Angeles or Washington.
The responsibility is not only of governments, individual actions add up.