Dubai: Dubai’s new membership in C40 — an exclusive group of megacities to fight climate change — has provided a suite of powerful new tools of change to help slash global emissions in concert with other urban centres, says the organisation.

Simon Hansen, C40’s Director of Regions, said there is strength in numbers as 80 member cities work in unison to battle global warming.

“The world’s megacities, including Dubai, have a crucial role to play in the coming years in ensuring that the world will follow a low carbon pathway and that we can keep global temperature rises below 2 degrees. C40 does not offer an official line to cities on what their emissions reduction targets should be. However, we do know that C40 cities are three times more likely to take action if a goal or target has been established,” Hansen told Gulf News in an exclusive interview from London.

“Cities are responsible for around 70 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Whilst they are a major contributor to the climate change problem, cities have the opportunity to be an equally major solution. A recent report by C40 shows that moving from a business-as-usual scenario to low carbon urban development across all the world’s cities would save 45 Gt CO2 by 2030 — equivalent to eight times the current emissions of the United States,” Hansen added.

Joining C40 will give Dubai new data to incorporate within its own green plans to streamline projects even further, he said.

“C40 can provide Dubai with a suite of services in support of their efforts, including: direct technical assistance; facilitation of peer-to-peer exchange; and research, knowledge management and communications. C40 is also positioning cities as leading forces for climate action around the world, defining and amplifying their call to national governments for greater support and autonomy in creating a sustainable future.”

Hansen said C40 asks member cities to meet “participation standards which require all member cities to set a target for GHG reductions and to report on progress. We also encourage member cities to implement environmental programmes and policies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase urban resilience. By participating in our networks and sharing best practices with other cities, our members don’t have to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. They learn what has or hasn’t worked in other cities and can apply this knowledge in their own local context.”

Dubai joined C40 on November 3 in an announcement led by Abdullah Al Shaibani, secretary-general of the Executive Council of Dubai alongside top civic leaders who manage all aspects of government infrastructure from energy and transportation to municipal services.

Al Shaibani said Dubai’s greening efforts include efficient public transportation, reducing waste going to landfill and the creation of new sources of renewable energy.

By the numbers

  • • 82 cities now belong to the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
  • • 98 per cent of C40 cities report climate change has affected them
  • • As of 2014, C40 cities have taken 8,068 climate actions
  • • Dubai joined C40 effective November 3, 2015