Our Common Future Under Climate Change

International Scientific Conference 7-10 JULY 2015 Paris, France

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Wednesday 8 July - 15:00-16:30 UPMC Jussieu - Amphi 15

2228 - Removing Barriers to Climate Change Mitigation at City Level

Parallel Session

Lead Convener(s): K. Rashidi Ghadi (ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland)

15:00

Keynote Speaker

A. Patt (ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland)

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Keynote Speaker
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15:15

Keynote Speaker

P. Buergi (South Pole Carbon Group, Zurich, Switzerland)

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Keynote Speaker
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15:15

Making Cities Resilient to Climate Change: Identifying ‘win-win' interventions

H. Dulal (Abt Associates, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America)

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Making Cities Resilient to Climate Change: Identifying ‘win-win' interventions

H. Dulal (1)
(1) Abt Associates, International Economic Growth, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America

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Urbanization has truly become a global phenomenon. From a mere 10 percent in 1900, thepercentage of global population living in urban areas now exceeds 50 percent. With rapid urbanization, urban emissions have also increased over the decades. Cities currently account for about 75 percent of global energy consumption and 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Even though the greenhouse gas emission footprints of cities have been increasing over the years, for the cities in developing countries, greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation is still not the priority. It is a "low-priority" issue, if anything. Given the resource constraints and competing local priorities, developing countries' cities are more interested in dealing with rapidly deteriorating air and water quality than use their scarce resources for urban climate change mitigation. The existing reluctance, however, can be overcome if cities are made aware of the fact that bundling of policy tools can actually help them overcome their perpetual struggle against increasing urban environmental externalities and  contain rising urban greenhouse gas emissions. The proposed paper intends to identify sectors and policy instruments, adoption of which, will not only ensure the reduction in rising urban  environmental externalities in developing countries, but also help contain rapidly growing urban greenhouse gas emissions and provide climate change adaptation co-benefits.

15:45

‘Nudging' the city towards sustainability; analysis of leverage points for reduction of urban footprint

F.M. Khan (WWF Luc Hoffman Institute, Lund, Sweden)

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‘Nudging' the city towards sustainability; analysis of leverage points for reduction of urban footprint

FM. Khan (1)
(1) WWF Luc Hoffman Institute, Lund, Sweden

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Since 2010 the Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC) has been encouraging cities to submit data on carbon reduction commitments, strategies and investments that allow assessment of urban governance vision and impact over the years, and has been collecting this data through the Climate Carbonn Registry. Cities meeting certain criteria of data availability and reduction commitment become Earth Hour City Challenge candidates and the most ambitious cities compete for the title Earth Hour Capital of the year. In the 2014 iteration of the challenge more than one hundred and sixty cities from seventeen are reporting on hundreds of reduction commitments and thousands of mitigation actions from all sectors of urban governance. As the primary habitats of human beings and one of the two most important governance units of our civilization along with the nation state, cities must take a leading role in the transformation towards sustainability and reduction of human footprint. However as complex systems, cities exhibit both, a behavioral inertia that is borne of the dense network of interactions between people, infrastructure and intangibles that define the city, as well as the ability to undergo a rapid transformation akin to a face change in complex systems when faced with the right intervention at the right leverage point. In order to navigate a successful transformation to sustainability, meet the relevant targets such as sustainable development goals and stay within the planetary boundaries while improving standards of living for the global poor, we need to identify these points at which a phase change can be triggered in urban systems; these would be the leverage points where large gains in footprint reduction can be obtained with minimum effort interventions. These high leverage points emerge from research in unexpected disciplines as well from investigations at the interaction of disciplines that do not traditionally converse as these points lie concealed in latent correlations. To identify these points thus a multi-disciplinary, consultative, framework approach is needed. The EHCC data has been analyzed to identify high leverage opportunities for reduction in urban footprint. The research uses the framework and data collected as an objective function to identify leverage points for maximizing footprint reduction using various strategies. Various stakeholders from practice and academia have been consulted to provide a survey of strategies for urban footprint reduction from various disciplines. This has included evidence collected from practical policy and technological implementations in the disciplines of transport, housing, waste management, local food production and energy, summary of theoretical and empirical findings from behavioral economics and psychology that can help devise policy interventions to ‘nudge’ citizen behavior towards footprint reduction, and analysis of theoretical developments in the science of urban complexity that can inform identification of high impact leverage points. A framework has been developed and correlations explored using a preliminary network mapping exercise.