Readers of this site have seen lots of evidence that in the 21st century the best place one can live for a small carbon footprint is in urban areas. Things like increased infrastructure costs and higher costs of living associated with automobile use in rural & suburban places are obvious reasons why denser areas are better.
Now we can add even more reasons to live an urban life thanks to research from the IPCC and WWF.
The latest assessment by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicates a global carbon budget, or the estimated amount of carbon available to burn if the world is to limit runaway climate change. We also know that, if action is not taken soon, all the allowable emissions would be locked in by energy infrastructure existing within five years from now. Time is short.
The good news is that we know where to take action to prevent such lock-in and build a resilient energy future. Most of today’s emissions come from cities, and within that, the vast majority from three sources: the energy used to create electricity, to heat and cool buildings, and for transportation. From the Earth Hour City Challenge, a year-long programme launched by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) to identify and promote cities that are leading climate action, it is clear that cities, and their mayors worldwide, are already demonstrating innovative solutions to reduce dependence on fossil fuels in each of these sectors.