Christiana Figueres says cities are accelerating sustainable development – find out how

Editor’s Note: 2015 marks C40’s 10-year anniversary. To celebrate our 10 Years of Results, we are featuring the voices of C40 principals, partners and other thought leaders throughout the year.

Christiana Figueres is the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC.

Last century was marked by unprecedented growth accompanied by unprecedented urbanization. Knowing now that much of this growth was enabled by enterprise that increases greenhouse gas emissions, this century’s challenge focuses on how to grow using a new model of development.

As home to more than half of the world’s 7 billion people and one of the largest sources of emissions, cities are well situated to reshape social and economic growth and usher in an era of climate-safe, sustainable development.

C40 was created one decade ago in this context. Visionary leaders recognized that megacities are integral to meeting the challenge of our new century. City action and collaboration has already proven powerful in reducing emissions and increasing resilience globally.

I applaud C40 for ten years of excellent work, and I think cities have an even greater challenge and a greater opportunity.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres speaks at the World Summit on Climate and Territories in Lyon in July (photo credit: Région Rhône-Alpes)

Climate action isn’t just about greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change impacts, it can increase livability, improve community and open opportunity.

In Lima, a bus rapid transit system helps people get to work, to school and to their doctors more quickly and at reasonable cost, while avoiding transportation emissions.

In New York, resilient infrastructure ensures mobility and productivity in the face of climate impacts. And ambitious targets guide building and transportation policy.

In Beijing, a regional carbon market is being tested alongside seven other markets to bring a national carbon market to China, a move that benefits public health and encourages green jobs.

In Paris, a —> Read More