More than half of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from urban areas. A number of cities around the world have shown farsighted leadership in setting targets and devising and implementing plans to reduce these greenhouse gas emissions. Cities in developed countries such as London, UK, as well as (increasingly) in developing countries such as Bangkok, Thailand, offer a wealth of experience regarding good practices and innovative approaches in this area that other cities can learn from and emulate..
Cities can reduce their GHG emissions while simultaneously addressing other pressing local environmental problems such as air pollution, waste and transport, not to mention other challenges such as local economic development. The challenge therefore is to link climate change to local environmental and other developmental priorities. On the supply side there are strategies that make certain alternative sources of energy more attractive to users than fossil fuels. On the demand side a better planned city with reduced urban sprawl, greener buildings and better public transport can reduce a city’s carbon footprint while at the same time providing for a better quality of life for its citizens and an environment that is more attractive for business.