Cities are not only vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, they’re also part of the problem. Did you know that cities produce more than 60% of the global greenhouse gas emissions? That’s why cities need to speed up climate action and have adaptation plans in place. The good news is that many European cities have already committed to reaching carbon neutrality by 2050!
Let’s check how some European cities are leading the way on climate action:
The metropolitan city of Milan intends to plant three million trees by 2030!
To transform the city into an urban forest, Milan will plant new trees on roads, streets, parks, roofs, and many other urban spaces.
With this ambitious climate action plan, Milan will decrease the energy consumption demand of buildings and its carbon emissions. Planting more trees will also lower the city’s temperature and remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
Besides having positive effects for climate adaptation and mitigation, these actions will improve the wellbeing of residents as well!
London is another European city playing a pioneering role in climate action.
This city has implemented the world’s first “Ultra Low Emission Zone”. This zone is located in central London and operates 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Drivers in this zone need to meet strict emissions standards or pay a fee.
The best part about this policy is that London gets some interesting benefits. The city uses the revenue from the fee to improve the public transport system. And residents are more likely to switch to low emission vehicles.
This innovative climate action policy has already led to 44,000 fewer polluting vehicles in the city, which means fewer carbon emissions too!
Prague is making public transport more attractive than personal vehicles.
This city is making improvements to its infrastructure to make the transfer between transport modes faster and easier. But that’s not all, Prague is also developing new green areas, walking routes, and cycling spaces!
With these new climate action projects, the city aims to encourage the use of public transportation and reduce personal vehicles on the roads.
This is a fantastic way to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, tackle climate change, and make people’s lives easier!
Amsterdam depends on natural gas to heat homes and businesses. But the city established ambitious climate action targets to phase out natural gas by 2040!
To make this transition possible, the government is working closely with housing corporations, residents, and stakeholders. This way, they can find the best alternatives to natural gas for each part of the city.
The city’s priority will be to ensure that residents’ energy costs do not rise. Likewise, Amsterdam will provide financial support to make the transition to sustainable energy sources affordable for all its residents!
Even though cities are major contributors to climate change, they can create innovative projects to tackle this problem.
These four European cities show that well-designed climate action plans can benefit the environment and citizens. But more importantly, other countries can follow their example and take action as well!