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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

BBC News - UN report: Cities ignore climate change at their peril

BBC News - UN report: Cities ignore climate change at their peril

If you read this news report on a UN report presented in London at the London School of Economics you may conclude that mass marches in London because of belt tightening by government or fighting in Libya are both pretty small fry in terms of the effects of our continued and growing pollution of our one and only atmosphere.
Here is an extract:

Urban areas are set to become the battleground in the global effort to curb climate change, the UN has warned.
The assessment by UN-Habitat said that the world's cities were responsible for about 70% of emissions, yet only occupied 2% of the planet's land cover.
While cities were energy intensive, the study also said that effective urban planning could deliver huge savings.
The authors warned of a "deadly collision between climate change and urbanisation" if no action was taken.
The Global Report on Human Settlements 2011, Cities and Climate Change: Policy Directions, said its goal was to improve knowledge of how cities contribute to climate change, and what adaption measures are available.

Worrying trend
Joan Clos, executive director of UN-Habitat, said the global urbanisation trend was worrying as far as looking to curb emissions were concerned.
"We are seeing how urbanisation is growing - we have passed the threshold of 50% (of the world's population living in urban areas)," he told BBC News.
"There are no signs that we are going to diminish this path of growth, and we know that with urbanisation, energy consumption is higher.
According to UN data, an estimated 59% of the world's population will be living in urban areas by 2030.
Every year, the number of people who live in cities and town grows by 67 million each year - 91% of this figure is being added to urban populations in developing countries.
The main reasons why urban areas were energy intensive, the UN report observed, was a result of increased transport use, heating and cooling homes and offices, as well as economic activity to generate income.

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