London: Arup's work with C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group has delivered a comprehensive analysis of actions underway to address climate change in the world's megacities.
2012 Environment winner
The C40 is a global network of cities committed to implementing meaningful and sustainable actions locally that will help address climate change globally. The 58 cities within the C40 account for 8% of the global population, 12% of global greenhouse gas emissions and 21% of global GDP. Recently, the C40 formalised its relationship with the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), integrating efforts to address climate change and creating one powerful organisation.
For over two years, Arup and the C40 have worked in partnership to bring about a step-change in this network by facilitating and sharing best practice between cities. By 2011, although significant progress was being made (over 80% of climate actions in C40 cities were initiated after cities joined in 2005), it was clear that one fundamental problem remained. Despite having detailed case studies, anecdotes and informed "hunchesâ€, the C40 did not have a comprehensive view of climate-related activities being carried out in C40 cities or the ability of mayors to influence and inform that activity. This posed a problem as in the words of the C40 Chair, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it."
In February 2011, the team embarked on the first comprehensive analysis of actions underway to address climate change in the world's megacities. The resulting report, Climate Action in Megacities: C40 Cities Baseline and Opportunities, demonstrates that cities have significant potential to impact climate change, that they are already doing so — there are 4,734 actions currently in effect and 1,465 under consideration — and that there is huge scope to do more. In addition, the underlying data and analysis are being used to guide the C40 and prioritise areas where it can have the most impact.
Producing this ground-breaking piece of research in just over three months, navigating the complex landscape of city administrations, coordinating across continents and remaining persuasive and academically rigorous across numerous languages is a major achievement. Without Arup's global network, extensive experience of working in cities at all scales and strong relationships, this would not have been possible.
"This study is more than just proof of action, it is also an expression of opportunity. By taking an inventory of mayoral powers, it demonstrates the ability of cities to act today; by supporting knowledge-transfer and collaboration among cities, it enables the C40 to make an even greater impact on climate change going forward."
Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor, City of New York, Chair, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
"C40's strong and longstanding partnership with Arup has been invaluable in producing the landmark Climate Action in Megacities report. This research effort provides C40 with the tools to develop an effective data-driven, city-led organisational strategy going forward."
Rohit T. Aggarwala, Special Advisor to the C40 Chair, C40 Cities