A new independent initiative launched at the Climate Action Summit in Washington D.C., on May 6th, 2016, sees the formation of the Coalition for Urban Transitions, bringing together global financial and business leaders, think-tanks, city governments, and urban planning experts, band together to push cities to the forefront of global climate discussions. The special initiative is part of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate’s New Climate Economy project (NCE), is hosted by the World Resources Institute (WRI), and managed jointly by the C40 Climate Leadership Group and the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. The initiative builds on the work done by NCE, in assisting the world’s governments address climate change by assessing the costs and benefits of climate action, to direct attention to the substantial role which city governments can play in effecting changes which can amount to sizable emissions reductions.

The coalition–led by current and former city and national leaders, business leaders, heads of international organizations, and prominent economists–observes that the world’s urban areas are the center of an estimated $17 trillion global economic opportunity by 21050 in reducing the effects of climate change. Given freedom and latitude to take action on their own, free of the complicated bureaucracy inherent at the national level the world’s cities can operate more nimbly than national governments. Already accounting for 85% of global GDP, the world’s cities and urban areas will only continue to grow with the rapid trend of urbanization, therefore, the coalition seeks to ensure that they are placed at the center of national economic strategies and empowered to act.

Read a statement in the Guardian by three of the Coalition’s founders.

Read more on the Coalition for Urban Transitions.

Read more about the C40 Climate Leadership Group.

The World Resources Institute and its Ross Center.

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