Climate Emergency Is Spreading Like Wildfire – Thanks To Citizens & Cities

Will The Climate-awareness Spur The Real Change?

New research on climate change from Crowther Lab, Zurich discovers that 77% of cities are extremely likely to have a climate that is nearly as warm as other warmer cities. Acc to Climate Emergency Is Spreading Like Wildfire – Thanks To Citizens & Cities, in 2050 the climate in Stockholm will resemble Budapest, that of Madrid’s will follow Marrakech’s existing climate, Tokyo’s will be more like Changsha while London will have it like Barcelona.

Moreover, the study also reveals that 22% of cities will experience climate conditions that are presently not felt by any major cities around the world. 

Meanwhile, the number of smart cities declaring climate emergency is increasing. Cities including Cologne, Hawkes Bay,  Krakow New York, Paris, Sydney, Shropshire are among the 822 councils (and counting) and jurisdictions that have recently declared the emergency. New York is now the largest city on the planet to have passed such a measure to beat climate change.

All of this is happening for the better – to make earth again a great place to live. As some countries are procrastinating on establishing environmental policies or are slowed up by politics, cities around the globe have taken the stand to fight it alone. And it is not just cities but also citizens who are coming out with the frustration against no notable action from the central governments. Will this really make an impact? Go on to learn some facts!

Can Cities Push The Real Change?

Smart cities are leading the war against climate change and this is being further spurred by a series of scientific reports that show extreme weather conditions and public demonstrations. But some have opened up debates by saying that the emergency declarations risk doing little to push the real change. This holds good especially when there is not one single accepted definition of a climate emergency. 

Even though the meaning is not clear, city-led declarations are backed by sustainable goals such as becoming carbon-neutral by 2030. However, in some cases, these goals have also been criticised for not justifying a concrete detail. 

According to Areeba Hamid, senior climate campaigner at Greenpeace UK in her interview with SmartCitiesWorld, an increasing number of cities declaring climate emergency is a “sure sign” that it is hard to ignore these “calls for action.” 

Further, she said that “calling out the situation has not been enough”, what’s important is the action taken “like it’s a climate emergency.” Major cities are often leading the change and as most of the world’s population lives and works here, these agglomerations have a huge potential to make a difference on climate change. 

For example, Buenos Aires, a member of the C40 network (the collaboration of global smart cities to address climate change) has long been rolling out green initiatives and educating youth regarding climate change. 

However, Hamid also added that cities call out an emergency and then support climate-destroying policies such as airport expansion. 

Voice Of Smart Citizens Being Heard

While the smart cities worldwide are committing to their roles to the climate emergency, citizens are monitoring the progress. Others include environmental watchdogs like Greenpeace and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) constantly keeping an eye on government policies, and public demonstrations worldwide. This is creating an atmosphere that holds the decision-makers accountable. 

Speaking about the role of smart citizens, of course, it is much more powerful as the majority of the declarations are made as a result of public pressure. Smart citizens intend seeing action taken to cut down carbon emissions and combat climate change. In fact, emergency announcements are a part of a much bigger movement that is being driven by a younger generation which is extremely disappointed by the absence of any action taken by governments worldwide.

The youth has raised climate change as one of the major concerns and they are determined to make sure that their future is not compromised by short-term decision-making.

Students Demonstrating In The Streets Of Belgium 

How Youth In Belgium Is Creating Awareness on Climate Change?

Mass protest by young people in the streets of Belgium comes at a time when Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have experienced the highest ever temperatures.

Belgian teacher unions have been proud of such a move by the Belgian youth and have been standing for their support to the young people in the country and worldwide. The protest went on for a month every Thursday to urge that decision-makers take urgent measures to address climate change. 

CSC-Ensignement union, the community committee praised the fact that a number of students demonstrated on Thursdays to demand radical measures to fight climate change. About 3,000 students participated in the movement on 10 January, 12000 to 15000 on 17 January and 35,000 on 24 January this year in 2019. 

As per the union, the demonstration was a success that gave satisfaction for a number of reasons. Even on the last day of the month, 30,850 students took to streets in different cities across the nation. The Belgian teachers expressed their happiness at the fact that the maturity of the youth had taught us a valuable lesson, which was “far removed from the lack of action by certain politicians.” The union also stated that the movement originated in the north of Belgium and spread to the south from the second protest onwards. This mass demonstration on one of the fundamental issues is evidence that shows that enactment on climate emergency is still possible. 

Cities Are In A Position To Curb Increasing Temperatures – Research Says

Recent IPCC report compiled by the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and C40 Cities reached a conclusion that cities have a “unique opportunity” to stop global temperatures from rising further. 

The findings of the report show that the constant action from cities is key as they are in a position with ample opportunities to address many of the causes and impacts of climate change on a methodical level. City leaders have the capacity to act faster and innovate scalable solutions than other governments such as at the centre. 

Explaining the role of city mayors, Simon Hansen, director of regions, C40 network said that for over a decade it has been the mayors that have been most vocal on taking bold action against climate change. They have been taking warnings from scientists and listening to the demands of youth protesting on the streets. In light of the fact, this will help catalyse the pace of climate action already moving in smart cities. 

But Hansen also mentioned that the Paris Agreement cannot be delivered by the Mayors alone.

Along the line, activists, scientists, business leaders, investors, community groups and citizens need to act together to respond at the global level to climate emergencies.  

Smart cities collaborating at the international level will be able to change the existing climate crisis and therefore prevent it from wrecking our planet Earth. 

As cities have come forward with a climate emergency protocol they are now in the power to cut down the impact of climate change – more than ever. 

It doesn’t end here though. Because if initiatives like the Heathrow Airport Expansion keep coming up, the set targets to achieve carbon neutrality may get out of reach for some more years. This gap can be prevented if each and every individual understands their role. Even those who don’t care don’t want to experience the wrath of climate. Isn’t it?