Cities need to be built and managed differently if the Paris Agreement targets are to be achieved.
That’s according to Future Cities Catapult Chair Keith Clarke, who says $30 trillion (£24.08tn) of infrastructure work will be needed to meet urban priorities against the backdrop of the Paris agreement.
This is largely due to massive forecasted increases in urban population levels – by 2030, global population is set to reach nine billion, with 70% of these people living in cities.
Cities are predicted to be chiefly responsible for producing greenhouse gas emissions so will need to be the main way to combat them.
Mr Clarke said: “It’s not about halting development. COP21 is about effecting the transition to low carbon growth.
“Cities will still have to do all the things that make them successful, that make us want to live in them, that offer us meaningful choices. But they have to do it more sustainably.”
He added waste, utilities and transport systems are the main areas in which cities can make big green progress.
The European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions say European cities need to become smarter if the region is to meet its climate change commitments and drive green growth.