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The Power of Cities: Harnessing Low-carbon Urbanization for Climate Action

This report emphasizes the critical role of rapidly urbanizing developing countries in advancing low-carbon urban growth to support global decarbonization goals. Given that most urban infrastructure in these countries will be built in the coming decades, urban policy decisions made today will profoundly impact future greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cities.

Although cities in developing countries have historically had lower GHG emissions compared to those in high- and upper-middle-income countries, the scale of urban growth expected in rapidly urbanizing regions necessitates a shift towards low-carbon urbanization pathways. Failure to do so risks locking in carbon-intensive development patterns for the long term.

The report underscores the importance of integrating low-carbon urbanization priorities into countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and Long-Term Low-GHG Emission Development Strategies (LTSs). These strategic documents, which outline countries’ long-term visions for low-GHG emissions and climate-resilient development, often overlook the urgency of decarbonizing urban systems.

By incorporating climate mitigation considerations for urban systems into NDCs and LTSs, countries can demonstrate strong political commitment to low-carbon urban development. This integration can also foster coordination with urban governments and local stakeholders, facilitate access to finance, and enable effective implementation of multi-sectoral urban policies and actions.

Furthermore, considering the impact of urbanization and urban mitigation measures on national GHG emissions can help leverage their potential to achieve national and global climate goals. By progressively raising ambition and aligning urban development priorities with climate objectives, countries can contribute significantly to global decarbonization efforts.

Sources:
https://media.licdn.com/dms/document/media/D4D1FAQHDXRmxhLs5Rw/feedshare-document-pdf-analyzed/0/1715325742929?e=1716422400&v=beta&t=1I8ty3vGOMA1I0hkhoVpX2kJCbQgOQNKUxhdYaRWt00

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