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The IPCC’s “Global Warming of 1.5°C” report calls for rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society, including our cities, in order to mitigate the impact of global climate change and build a safer, more sustainable world for us all. Given the short-time frame and scale of change that is needed, evidence-based decision-making is now more important than ever to ensure that actions taken will deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement. Underpinning this is the need for access to high quality, timely and interactive data on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

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On October 29th, Venice was submerged under 156 cm (just over 5 feet) of high tide or “aqua alta”, flooding three-quarters of the city including public thoroughfares and landmarks including the famous St. Mark’s Basilica, closing schools and public transportation and challenging the runners of the historic Venice marathon. 

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The IPCC's ‘Global Warming 1.5 degrees’ report published last month was a clear warning of the ambitious action needed to prevent the worst of climate change. A swift shift away from fossil fuels is needed, but as Christiana Figueres observes, ‘the determinants of whether we head for 2C or for 1.5C are mainly political; they are not technical or economic.’ This observation rang true when visiting China last week to deliver the annual C40 Zero Emission Vehicle network workshop. Bringing together delegates from 11 global cities to problem solve and work together to transition to zero emission vehicles.

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According to the world’s leading scientists, global emissions must peak by 2020 and then begin to decline rapidly if there is any hope of delivering the Paris Agreement and keeping global average temperature to rise to between 1.5 and 2 ̊C. Today, C40 announced that 27 of its cities have reached peak emissions . Peaking defines the point in time where emissions switch from increasing to decreasing, and represents a critical turning point in converting the Paris Agreement from aspiration into reality. The longer peaking is delayed, the later global emissions start to decline, and the more difficult it will be to limit global warming. 

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