This November, the Climate Reality Project aired 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report. The 24-hour broadcast showcased individuals, cities, and countries across the globe that are feeling some of the worst effects of climate change, but that are also implementing some of the most innovative programs and systems to combat this growing threat. We at C40 know city-scale solutions are key to minimizing carbon footprints and maximizing efficiency, so it makes sense that The Dirty Weather Report featured a number of our member cities. Two stood out in particular…
London, United Kingdom
London, with a population of nearly 8 million and a current GDP of almost $600 million USD per year, was touted by Former Vice President and Climate Reality Chairman Al Gore as an example of a city to emulate.
“The United Kingdom has set the bar high in recent years when it comes to climate solutions,” said Gore. “The steps the UK has taken toward combating climate change and Dirty Weather have been inspiring…”
London was featured in the second half of Hour 20 of the broadcast. Louise Clancy, advisor for the Greater London Authority’s Climate Change Adaptation and Water Programme appeared on a panel with Trewin Restorick, President of the Global Action Plan and Dr. Eugene Cordero, Assistant Professor of Climate Science at San Jose State University.
The panel emphasized the role cities play in educating and motivating citizens to take action toward fighting climate change, as well as enacting solutions on larger scales.
”Cities have a lot going for them,” Mr. Restorick said, “They’re great places where you can unite activity, energy, and commitment. London, for example, already has the lowest carbon emissions across the whole of the UK because you can get people working efficiently together…cities are right at the forefront of the challenge.”
Ms. Clancy delved into some of the city’s specific pioneering solutions, including the Thames Barrier to prevent high tides and storm surges from flooding the city, thousands of new trees, parks, and “pocket” parks to cool the city’s local climate, and public information campaigns to conserve water in times of drought.
Jakarta was showcased during Hour 13 as an example of the creative and innovative steps communities all across the world are taking toward promoting positive climate action. In Jakarta – a city of 9 million – traffic congestion that causes air pollution is a central concern. The Dirty Weather Report details part of Jakarta’s solution involving a designated Car Free Day, a program that was developed in 2007 to improve local air quality while reducing dependence on motor vehicles.
The program – which now includes one day each week – has been so successful as to spur public support for good public transport within the city, and has seen increasing enthusiasm for bicycles.
More than 50 percent of air pollution in Indonesia comes from transportation fuels, spurring the city to take aggressive steps toward improving its transit system. You can learn more about Jakarta’s rapidly-deployed bus rapid transit system here.
It is clear that cities stand out as leaders among global efforts to combat climate change, and were excellent ways for 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report to showcase climate change solutions around the world. To learn more about The Climate Reality Project, visit www.climaterealityproject.org.