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Climate action can have a positive impact on the economic and social wellbeing of cities

Following the historic climate deal agreed upon at COP21 in Paris, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) has launched new research highlighting the wide range of economic and social benefits arising from city climate action.

With cities setting the pace and scope of climate action until the COP21 agreement comes into force in 2020, the research is intended to help mayors and city leaders win the political argument for taking urgent and ambitious climate action. The report demonstrates that green actions not only help prevent climate change or protect the city from the effects of climate change, but can also have a positive impact on the economic and social wellbeing of urban citizens. Such benefits include job creation, improved air quality, better health and reduced congestion. DAMVAD Analytics conducted the research with the support of Realdania, the City of Copenhagen, and C40.

“The new co-benefits report presents convincing argument for cities to embrace green solutions. I hope that the thorough co-benefit analysis will provide some of the leverage that city leaders need when they make plans to invest in greener cities. We now have both the good examples on how it can be done, as well as the numbers telling us that it makes good economic sense,” said Jesper Nygård, CEO of Realdania.

“In Copenhagen we believe that investing in green city solutions is an investment in our citizen’s wellbeing and sustainable economic opportunities. The new co-benefits report convincingly shows this relation: green city solutions, growth, sustainability and quality of life go hand in hand. I hope the analysis will inspire city leaders thought-out the world,” said the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Frank Jensen.

The report assesses the co-benefits of a range of climate actions in cities across the world: Bus Rapid Transit in Bogotá and Istanbul; congestion charges in London and Stockholm; LED street lights in Los Angeles and Sydney; green areas in Copenhagen; and eco-roofs in Portland. For example, the benefits of London’s congestion charge, including fewer accidents, reduced travel time, and improved local air quality, are valued at 180 million USD per year. The report also gives an overview of various methods that can be used by cities to measure the co-benefits of climate action.

The research was performed within the scope of the C40 Green Growth Network and presented at the recent Network workshop in Copenhagen.

The findings of this report will feed into further research on co-benefits, led by C40 and supported by Novo Nordisk. Novo Nordisk and the C40 have formed a research-based partnership aimed at establishing that green policies in cities are beneficial to both the state of the environment and the health of urban citizens. The collaboration will see the organisations’ expertise and specialist knowledge combine to generate new insights on a range of co-benefits of climate action – in particular the health of city populations.

– DOWNLOAD REPORT: The Co-Benefits of Sustainable City Projects

Source: C40

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