Cities, the driving force in the fight against climate change

The German city of Bonn plays host next week to the 23rd Conference of Parties for the UN Framework on Climate Change (COP23). The event sees cities, including Barcelona, defending the central role they must play in the fight against climate change.

Major urban areas generate 70% of greenhouse gas emissions and the various municipal governments have acted as the driving force in implementing processes to adapt, in many cases highly innovative. Alongside other cities, Barcelona will be taking part in the Deadline20 initiative, complying with the goals set out in the Paris Agreement (COP21).

Among the things agreed on by COP21 participants was the 40% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (compared to 2005 emissions), as well as an increase in urban greenery of 1.6 square kilometres. The Bonn summit is important due to the current political context, the USA having announced its intention to back out of the agreement.

The Deputy Mayor for Ecology, Urban Planning and Mobility, Janet Sanz, asserted: “It’s absolutely urgent for the future and for the sustainability of cities that there really is an initiative shared by everyone in the fight against climate change, with nobody excluded and everyone feeling responsible”.

Sanz will be attending the summit along with the Commissioner for Ecology, Frederic Ximeno, to reaffirm Barcelona’s pledge to combat climate change and share the so-called Climate Plan with other participating cities. The strategic plan is currently at the public participation stage and will be presented at the beginning of 2018.

Some of the main areas of the plan involve mitigating unsustainable energy consumption habits within a context of economic recovery, adapting to the effects of climate change which are already occurring, placing the most vulnerable people at the heart of climate policy and jointly creating environmental projects with the public.