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COP26 - Day 11: Building a greener urban world

November 11, 2021 6:30 PM

On Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day at COP26, global leaders came together to discuss how cities and urban areas can be transformed by green technology to become centres for climate action. As you can imagine, cities and urban areas produce the overwhelming majority of global carbon emissions through transport, industry and the energy needed for millions of people to live there.

New funding was announced for the new Urban Climate Action Programme (UCAP) to support cities targeting net zero. The programme, funded through International Climate Finance, will support cities across Africa, Asia and Latin America to take climate action and create a sustainable future, by helping them implement innovative climate action plans to become carbon neutral by 2050 and prepare low-carbon infrastructure projects to reduce emissions.

UCAP will help cities to implement projects like low-emission public transport systems, renewable energy generation, sustainable waste management, new climate-smart buildings codes and climate risk planning. By showcasing what is possible, city and regional authorities can demonstrate to other cities and national governments the opportunities available to drive action.

UCAP will build on the flagship Climate Leadership in Cities programme, which successfully supported megacities in Latin America and Asia to develop ambitious climate action plans consistent with the Paris Agreement; including developing pathways to net zero by 2050 and committing to ambitious interim targets by 2030 to keep 1.5 degrees within reach.

Commenting on today's announcements Portfolio Holder for Town Centres & Planning Councillor Henry Vann said "These announcements show plenty of intent from the leaders at COP, we now need to see how this unfolds in to real action. In the UK it's clear that local councils are best placed to deliver real change on the ground, but without the investment and powers to do so, these words are meaningless. The time to act is now."

Among recent investments in the Town Centre have been a new smart bike shelter, improved cycling infrastructure, an electric vehicle charging site and the introduction of Enterprise's electric/hybrid vehicle Car Club at River Street Car Park.