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The best city climate solutions: 2019 Cities 100 report

By State of Green, October 07, 2019

Five Danish cities feature in the 2019 Cities 100 report, a publication which shines the spotlight on 100 of the most forward-thinking and inclusive climate action projects worldwide. The projects demonstrate how the cities are working toward fulfilling the Paris Agreement and solving the climate crisis.

In just two days, mayors, politicians, technical experts, youth activists and the business community are congregating in Copenhagen for the C40 Mayors Summit – an event designed to let leaders of some of the world’s biggest cities discuss best practice climate solutions with their peers and how they can accelerate progress on fulfilling the Paris Agreement.

To mark the occasion, the cities behind the C40 network, the consultancy Nordic Sustainabilty and the Danish philanthropic organization Real Dania have released the 2019 edition of Cities 100. The 2019 edition identifies specific best practice examples of climate policies and projects undertaken by cities in order to limit global temperature increases. The goal is that the report can encourage cities, companies, investors and institutions to collaborate on implementing solutions that can withstand climate change, support sustainable development and assist in fulfilling the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Previously released in 2015, 2016 and 2017, an important selection criteria to be featured in Cities 100 is that the projects presented are either ready to be implemented in other cities, or are scalable or can inspire others to take action.

In addition to well known metropolises such as London, Hong Kong and New York, the Danish cities of Aarhus, Gladsaxe, Frederiksberg, Næstved and Copenhagen are included.

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Both the C40 Summit and the Cities 100 report are timely, given that it is estimated three quarters of the globe’s population will live in urban areas by 2030. In an interview with the Danish newspaper Information, the CEO of Real Dania, Jesper Nygård, is pleased that so many Danish cities feature in the a catalogue of the “most forward looking cities in the world in regards to dealing with acute climate challenges”.

”It shows that we are on the right track in Denmark. Many cities have made great strides in regards to both reducing greenhouse gases and adapting their city with respect to rising sea levels as a result of increased temperatures”, he states to Information.

Jesper Nygård also highlights that many excellent climate solutions already exist – they just need to be disseminated.

”International collaboration and sharing good solutions from the entire world are essential in order to prevent severe climate challenges”, he says to Information and continues:

”There are great personal and societal values at stake, when cloudbursts and floods affect large and small cities. Therefore we are contributing to both the work with reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to endeavours that will protect our cities against rain and sea water”.

-Related solution: Combined bicycle path for school kids and rainwater storage

Smaller Danish cities are global examples

The then Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone created C40 in 2005 as a response to the lack of climate action and modest climate ambitions at the national level. Since then, C40 has grown and now numbers almost 100 cities.

Cities 100 affords global exposure to smaller cities, such as Gladsaxe and Næstved in Denmark.

Næstved’s circular economy strategy, where local companies collect 125,000 tonnes of glass annually, thereby saving the atmosphere for 15,000 tonnes of CO2, means the city is included in Cities 100.

Gladsaxe Municipality is also included in Cities 100 in the category ‘Citizen Engagement’ due to the municipality’s idea to let citizens to have direct influence in the creation of the multi-purpose Kong Hans Garden – a newly created town park that functions both as a recreational space and collects water from cloudbursts.

In recent years, C40 has collaborated with the alliance Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, which brings together approximately 10,000 smaller cities with more than 300 million inhabitants in total. These cities have committed themselves to reducing CO2 emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 at the latest. Herning, Esbjerg, Gladsaxe og 40 other Danish cities participate in the network.

”Even though the 94 member cities of C40 comprise 25 per cent of the global economy and ten per cent of the Earth’s population, we need to include the other cities”, says Jesper Nygård to Information.

The Cities 100 report will be launched during the C40 Mayors Summit in Copenhagen and the seven best climate solutions out of the 100 solutions will be named.

The report can be downloaded in full here.

Sources: Real Dania, Information and CSR.dk

Photo: Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Background information

Six Danish climate solutions from five different Danish cities are featured in the 2019 edition of Cities 100:

C40 Cities connects more than 90 of the world’s leading cities to take bold climate action and build a healthier and more sustainable future. Representing over 700 million citizens and one quarter of the global economy, mayors of C40 cities are committed to delivering on the most ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement at the local level, as well as to cleaning the air we breathe.

The C40 Summit showcases examples of how cities are already delivering on their climate commitments and accelerating the solutions needed for a sustainable, healthier, resilient and inclusive future.

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