Report: Cutting Urban Emissions Could Save $17 Trillion
According to a report from New Climate Economy, "Investing in lower-emission public transport, using more renewable energy, and increasing efficiency in commercial buildings and waste management in cities across the globe could generate $17 trillion in savings in current dollars by 2050."
"[Author] Nick Godfrey said the report—the first global analysis of projected savings from carbon reductions in cities—is intended to influence decisions at the climate summit in Paris in December." Godfrey stresses the importance of meaningful inter-city cooperation and real efforts to embrace transit and bikes.
Policy and investment decisions in major cities may set the tone for society at large. From the article: "The leading place of cities in today's world led the report to note that 'the infrastructure investments made in cities over the new few decades will lock the world into a higher- or lower-carbon path.'"
The report also discusses the short-term drawbacks of cleaner, more compact cities. "The resulting artificial shortage of land for building forces housing prices up, makes housing unaffordable for some, and leaves everyone with less money for other things, throwing some into poverty and causing income inequality to rise."