Cities on the frontline
Planning for a low-carbon future.
More than half of the world’s population live in cities. This is set to rise to around two-thirds by 2050. As people move from rural areas to towns and cities seeking a better standard of living, urbanisation has become a feature of economic development. This means as many as 1.3 billion children will be living in cities by the middle of this century, according to some estimates.
As cities become increasingly important to our lives, they have become a big source of greenhouse gas emissions. Because their locations are fixed and they are home to so many people, urban areas are also among the most vulnerable places in the world to the impacts of global warming – such as rising seas levels.
As the world comes together with pledges aimed at keeping the planet from warming by more than 2C, cities have joined the frontline of climate action. Since the last big climate negotiations in Copenhagen in 2009, cities have helped lead the way to support the transition to a low carbon economy. In some cases, this has meant that cities acted first and national governments followed. Being responsible for the daily lives of city residents has helped many officials and mayors to understand that providing a climate-safe future promises multiple benefits — such as cleaner air, sustainable jobs and energy security.
Our climate grant portfolio supports cities with data, evidence and technical expertise to show that ambitious climate action is affordable and politically feasible. By designing and financing low-carbon infrastructure, we can protect and secure a healthy and sustainable future for children.
Through their ambition and action, cities are on the frontline of the fight against climate change. They are setting an example for national governments to ensure that every child has the opportunity to survive and thrive, today and in the future.