NEW YORK—Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the partnership between C40, a coalition of the world’s largest cities on climate change, and the World Bank. The joint venture is the outcome of the C40 summit in Sao Paolo, Brazil, which took place last week.
The partnership aims to strengthen cooperation between major cities on climate action plans and strategies, as well as to provide a blanket approach for measuring and reporting on greenhouse gases in major cities. The announcement follows an April 13 merger between the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) and the Cities Program of Clinton Climate Initiative.
“This new partnership creates a tremendous opportunity for C40 cities to obtain vastly greater technical and financial support from all the public and private arms of the World Bank. It’s going to go a long way toward leveraging private capital, too. It’s being made possible by C40’s commitment to standardizing how we report on the climate change plans in our cities,” said Bloomberg.
The standardized approach will provide cities with streamlined access to the World Bank and private funds and is likely to accelerate the numerous citywide environmental initiatives already in place in New York City. Although such a framework already exists on the national level, investors have been hindered from accessing city projects up to now.
“Cities are growing at a faster rate than ever before and producing the majority of carbon emissions; we are already facing rising sea levels and more extreme hurricanes, droughts, and cyclones. Our partnership with the World Bank will provide essential tools to help cities become more sustainable, grow their economies, create jobs, promote energy independence, and ensure a stable future for generations to come,” said former President Bill Clinton, head of the Clinton Climate Initiative.
In a radio interview early last Thursday, Bloomberg mentioned that New York City is unique among the C40 members—80 percent of the city’s emissions come from buildings and 20 percent from transportation, while the reverse is true in the other cities. As a result, some of the city’s initiatives target buildings specifically.
One initiative offers replacing old boilers in city buildings that use oil fuel with more efficient natural gas versions. Another initiative urges building owners to paint rooftops white, leading to 20 percent in energy savings overnight. The mayor also mentioned an effort to reduce bus idling time at traffic lights and bus stops.
A total of 4,743 climate actions were documented by the C40 members in the areas of transport, buildings, waste management, water, energy management, urban land use, and others. The C40 cities represent 297 million people and generate 10 percent of the world’s emissions.