The government has backed the Urban Climate Action programme (UCAP) with £27.5 million in funding to support cities across Asia, Africa and Latin America to tackle climate change.
As part of the UK’s International Climate Finance commitment, the programme will support cities across the three continents that have been the most impacted by climate change to accelerate their transition to become carbon neutral by 2050.
Cities such as Nairobi, Kuala Lumpur and Bogota will benefit from new low-emission public transport systems, renewable energy generation, sustainable waste management, new climate-smart building codes and climate risk planning.
During the COP26 climate summit’s Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day in Glasgow, the UK pushed for cities to take further commitments towards the net zero target a measure over 1,000 cities and regions have taken globally – already accounting for over a fifth of the global urban population.
Urban buildings are responsible for around 40% of carbon emissions, globally and drastic measures must be taken to avoid tragedy. By the UCAP’s goal of 2050, 1.6 billion people living in cities will be exposed to extremely high temperatures and over 800 million will be vulnerable to sea level rises and coastal flooding. These measures to bring all cities to net zero emissions will be of the utmost importance to keeping global warming close to 1.5 degrees.
UCAP follows on from the original Climate Leadership in Cities programme – initially funded by the UK to support cities in Latin America and Asia to develop forward-thinking climate action plans in line with the Paris Agreement. This included developing the initial plans to reach net zero by 2050 and committing to interim action plans by 2030 to stay as close as possible to 1.5 degrees.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands said:
“By 2050 urban areas will be home to two thirds of the world population, with the speed and scale of urbanisation set to lock in high-carbon infrastructure and inequality if we do not act now.”
“The UK’s new programme will provide invaluable support to cities across Africa, Asia and Latin America to help them grow sustainably, and make them resilient to climate risks, securing a greener future for generations to come.”