UBC cities continue as climate smart forerunners
New report on UBC cities’ environmental data disclosure to CDP highlights increased interest in resilience and growing ambition in climate mitigation and adaptation among the cities.
The newest report on climate change mitigation and adaptation actions that UBC cities are actively engaging in has been published. The report highlights the continuous climate smart approaches our forerunner cities are actively pursuing and the good practices they are sharing with other cities in the region as well as climate hazards to prepare against in the coming years. The water-related risks continue to be the most severe risks that cities across the globe foresee – mostly through water scarcity and water quality issues. The most pressing risks identified by the UBC cities were increased water scarcity, declining water quality and ageing water supply infrastructure. Cities across the Baltic Sea Region have started to notice how old water supply infrastructure could have different impacts – from water quality and public health to economic losses.
In 2018, 28 UBC member cities disclosed their environmental data via CDP – among them were 10 cities who disclosed for the first time. The disclosing cities were Pärnu, Tartu and Sillamäe from Estonia; Espoo, Helsinki, Kemi, Lahti and Turku from Finland; Rostock and Greifswald from Germany; Liepaja, Riga and Jelgava from Latvia; Siauliai, Panevezys and Taurage from Lithuania; Kristiansand and Arendal from Norway; Gdynia and Gdansk from Poland; Malmö, Karlskrona, Örebro, Linköping, Växjö, Umeå, Trelleborg and Visby from Sweden.
The report revealed that more than half of the disclosing UBC cities have an action plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions whereas, globally, just 45% of the disclosing cities have an action plan for climate change mitigation activities. The nine major areas where emissions are currently cut (or planned to be cut) include: buildings, community-scale development, energy supply, finance and economic development, food and agriculture, mass transit, outdoor lighting, private transport and waste. UBC cities have started the climate change mitigation processes especially from the energy efficiency and retrofit measures and mostly focused on the construction/building and mobility sectors.