One of the major disputes at the recently held COP 21 climate talks involved the need for an enforcement scheme to ensure that climate pledges would be met. With too many countries unwilling to accept such measures, a compromise deal was reached. Rather than top-down enforceable emission mandates, countries would make commitments, and agree to regular 5-year audits of their progress on meeting those pledges. Cities have already pioneered this process.
Often on the frontlines of climate action, cities have had to take on the consequences of a changing climate for decades now. Their progress and actions have been well documented in research reports like the recently released, “Climate Action in Megacities 3.0.” The research offers insight into what mayors and local climate leaders are doing to protect their cities, but there have also been some unexpected outcomes. Perhaps the greatest is the finding that cities are increasingly collaborating to advance climate solutions.
The requirement for greater reporting and transparency, intended to identify how cities are implementing climate action plans, has yielded some unexpected outcomes. With greater transparency has come a flood of new information, ideas, and implementation methods that mayors in one city can learn from counterparts in other cities.
The key takeaway is that transparency, collaboration, and the willingness by climate leaders in cities throughout the country is key to advancing climate solutions. Join these leaders by signing up with Path to Positive Communities, and learn how to put your city to work on climate solutions!
A historic accord was signed earlier this month at COP21, with world leaders signing on to slow climate change. In addition to promising to cut emissions, all signatories agreed to report their progress through newly established universal methods.
Fans of the final COP21 document say the commitment to reporting is a victory toward accountability, and one that will be a useful source for sharing what’s working and what’s not across the globe. An official reporting system still needs to be hammered out, but a possible hint of the effectiveness of transparency and knowledge sharing can be found in “Climate Action in Megacities 3.0” (CAM 3.0), a report released in time for the Paris conference that examined what cities around the world are currently doing about climate change.
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