District of Columbia Among 17 Leading International Cities to Launch Global Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance

DC Mayor Bowser recently joined the mayors of 16 international cities across nine nations to launch the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, a collaboration of global cities committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent or more by 2050 or sooner—the most ambitious GHG emission reduction targets undertaken by any cities across the globe.

“Cities, like the District of Columbia, recognize that they are on the front lines of combatting climate change. We are committed to cutting our carbon emissions in order to avert the worst impacts of climate change,” said Mayor Bowser. “The District is showing that we can cut emissions while we create pathways to the middle class for our residents.”

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global average temperature increases must be kept below 2 degrees Celsius to avoid serious ecosystem disruption and grave human health impacts. Because urban areas account for nearly three-quarters of humanity's emissions, minimizing global temperature changes will require cities to reduce GHGs by 80% below 2000 levels by 2050.

The District is one of the leading cities around the world that has already reduced GHGs through improvements in building energy efficiency, investments in renewable energy, and expansions of alternative transportation options. Reaching the District’s goal of reducing GHGs by 80 percent below 2006 levels by 2050 will require focused action for multiple decades to fundamentally redesign our buildings, our energy supply, and transportation systems.

“The District has already demonstrated a more than 12 percent reduction in GHGs since 2006 during a period of significant population and economic growth. Working with our fellow Alliance cities and with our citizens and private sector partners, we will show that we can create vibrant and sustainable communities through the achievement of a carbon neutral future,” said Tommy Wells, Director of the District Department of the Environment.

The Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance is staffed by the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) in partnership with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) and Innovation Network for Communities (INC). The Alliance’s work is supported by the Kresge Foundation, V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, Summit Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Barr Foundation.

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Date Posted: 4/9/2015