I was in Beijing last week to launch C40’s China Climate Action Plan programme, as well as to celebrate progress on C40’s China Buildings Programme. It was a great opportunity to understand that just as China has in recent years become the electric vehicle, renewable energy, and cycle-hire capital of the world, so its cities may be poised to leapfrog everywhere else in green building standards too.
I was inspired and shamed in equal measure recently by attending the huge 'School Strike for Climate' in Oslo. "You'll die of old age, but I'll die of climate change" accused one placard. "System change, not climate change" read many more. Thousands of children thronged, chanting into the square outside Parliament to try and make their parents' generation, of which I am a member in denial, wake up and stop destroying the eco-system that enables humanity to thrive on the only planet we have access to.
To help cities document the progress and impacts of climate change adaptation initiatives, we’ve partnered with Ramboll Consulting to develop a framework that cities can use to monitor, evaluate and report (MER) on their adaptation actions. The framework also provides a list of indicators for cities to apply to the most commonly adopted actions. The project was developed in 2018 and was piloted by three C40 Cities: Austin (USA), Johannesburg, (South Africa) and Quito (Ecuador).
Last week I had an envigorating city hall meeting with the Governor of Jakarta, Anies Baswedan, as we discussed his plans to clean up the air of his sprawling mega-city, setting Jakarta on a pathway to a low carbon economy, while also defending citizens against a threat from climate change that is more immediately existential than in almost any other city that I have visited.