I remember that we have talked and discussed so many times in class about how we can make big pollution contributing cities into more sustainable ways. The changes would sound very radical at first, but that was only the final outcomes and most final outcomes do sound radical in the beginning fazes of change. Big change come out of small progression over mostly long periods of time. This small progression and small acts or chores seem to be nothing as first, but over time it does make a big difference. Over time some of these minute changes have taken place and some haven’t, but most of the time it was hopeful thinking. Though when would we actually hear of major cities taking on more sustainable tactics they would a city in another continent; it far away from our own home and it does not feel as familiar or tangible to us.
We all agree that the world population is increasing rapidly each year and more and more people are moving into cities. While even more people are moving in, that must mean that the pollution that is already happening in the cities right now will for sure increase if no measures, precautions, or changes are made. These changes and actions are possible only if the government of the cities promote it or if the people take action. The United Nations is doing just that when they UN launched the report “The State of City Climate Finance” which makes recommendations on how local authorities can unlock the capital needed to make major investments for climate action in cities. The UN discussed and came to the conclusion that urban cities contribute to a huge amount of pollution that is going into the air and it is the time now, before it’s too late, to take the proper actions to make these cities more sustainable as more people continue to move there.
The report makes five recommendations for mobilizing investment in low-emission, climate-resilient urban infrastructure. It analyzes the obstacles that many cities face in obtaining the financing they need, including uncertainty over regulatory and tax policies, lack of expertise in project development, lack of control over infrastructure planning, high transaction costs and lack of proven funding models at the city and regional level. Rachel Kyte, the World Bank Group’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, told the UN News Centre in an interview that there is a reason the overall temperature increase of two degrees occurred and it is because the way that we are living today. “At the same time cities are growing. In the next 30 years another two billion people will move into cities, and so we have to find a way to help cities get the financing necessary to become livable, green, clean, competitive, job-rich cities,” she added. What they want to do is to accelerate investment in low-emission, climate resilient infrastructure in cities, and to close the investment gap in urban areas. They want to achieve all of this within the next fifteen years so maybe we could actually have sustainable urban areas and not feel so guilty living in a big city. Alliance members are now reportedly working on a plan to help translate the report recommendations into action.
Question: Do you think that the major cities of the world will actually become green and sustainable cities within the next fifteen years? Why or why not?