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5 Cities Leading the Effort to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Claire Martin examines research conducted by engineering firm Arup and the Clinton Climate Initiative into the actions that cities are taking to reduce their emissions and identifies five cities, including one surprise, that are leading the charge.
March 15, 2013, 7am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Martin reviews the progressive programs and policies that the usual suspects, including London, Copenhagen, New York, and Sao Paulo are doing to curb their energy use and harmful emissions. One surprising city also made her list: Addis Ababa.

"In Ethiopia’s capital, shoddy water pipes are being replaced to help boost the city’s 50 percent leakage rate  'Cities can lose huge amounts of their often energy-intensively produced potable water due to leakage from pipes during distribution,' the C40 study authors wrote. 'Wasting potable water… increases greenhouse gas emissions, and is also a major issue for those cities that are threatened with droughts. The number of drought-threatened cities is rising due to climate change.'” 

"That project joins large-scale, low-carbon housing developments that will create new homes for people currently living in Addis Ababa’s shanty towns, the C40 study showed. The city is also planning to convert 40 percent of its land to green space, which serves to absorb CO2 emissions and reduce the urban-heat-island effect. To that end, Addis Ababa’s mayor instituted a plan to plant three million new trees (the most ambitious tree-planting project in the world) and create a giant nature reserve featuring every tree and plant native to Ethiopia."

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Published on Thursday, March 7, 2013 in Smithsonian
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