C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group meeting May 18-21

The third summit of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group met in Seoul, Korea, from May 18-21, to discuss "Cities' Achievements and Challenges in the Fight against Climate Change". New York City was represented by Rohit Aggarwala, Director of the Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. (The most recent prior meeting of the group was in New York in 2007.) The Declaration adopted by the Group stated that: Over 50% of the world's population lives in cities, which now account for 75% of global energy consumption and 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions and that cities must take responsibility for their contribution to climate change, and establish and implement immediate and practical measures for the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to the threats caused by climate change at the individual city level. C40 cities set a common goal of transforming themselves into low-carbon cities, and agreed to work collaboratively with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and other entities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change. The Clinton Climate Initiative has developed a Measurement Tool that each C40 city can use to calculate a baseline inventory of current emissions. The tool will also allow cities to track progress on their climate change goals.

At the C40 meeting, the Clinton Climate Initiative, a project of the William J. Clinton Foundation, announced a global program, developed in collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council (which verifies LEED status for buildings), called the Climate Positive Development Program. The program will support the development of large-scale urban projects demonstrating that cities can grow in ways that are "climate positive", reducing the amount of on-site CO2 emissions to below zero.Sixteen founding projects on six continents, supported by local governments and property developers, will demonstrate Climate Positive strategies, The projects are in: Melbourne, Australia; Palhoça, Brazil; Toronto; Victoria, Canada; Ahmedabad, India; Jaipur, India; outside Panama City, Panama; Pretoria, South Africa; Johannesburg, South Africa; Seoul, South Korea; Stockholm, Sweden; London; San Francisco; and Destiny, Fla.

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