We are nearing a turning point for democratic support for environmentalism. Gordon Brown’s 2008 Climate Change Act legislated to slash CO2 emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, a seismic shift pushed through with little debate but much superficial public approval. Theresa May strengthened this to 100 per cent by 2050, the “net zero” target; again, the public liked the sound of this, if not of Mrs May. China will continue to increase its emissions by more than we cut ours, but our entire ruling class has signed up to this iron-clad legal framework, with no dissent tolerated.
Published June 2019
C40 is delighted to publish this pioneering piece of thought leadership, The Future of Urban Consumption in a 1.5°C World. The report demonstrates that mayors have an even bigger role and opportunity to help avert climate emergency than previously thought. But to grasp that opportunity, city leaders need to be even more entrepreneurial, creating and shaping markets and engaging in sectors that may not previously have been considered within the domain of city government, and working out how to support their citizens and businesses in achieving a radical, and rapid, shift in consumption patterns.
While transport and buildings are the major drivers for emissions in cities, the share of individual emissions is significant.
Personal carbon allowance programs have had limited success due to a lack of awareness and fair mechanism for tracking emissions.
Yet there have been major developments in recent years that could help realise “My Carbon” initiatives.