Cities contributing to Nationally Determined Contributions
Cities are establishing their own emission reduction targets and sustainable development initiatives, and these efforts can contribute substantially to Nationally Determined Contributions towards achieving Paris Agreement objectives. Innovative technologies and initiatives by cities will become even more important as urbanization increases, and sharing these innovations is an efficient method for increasing their implementation.
Singapore seeks to build a smart, sustainable city, and with its limited land space and high urban density, is doing so while incorporating land and resource use efficiencies. Initiatives include mandatory energy labeling and minimum energy performances for appliances in households, and Smart Homes that feature solar panels on rooftops, smart fans that turn on during periods of high humidity or temperatures, and home energy management systems that alert users to changes in energy use. Public-private partnerships support Living Labs that enable researchers to test innovations in real world conditions and using existing infrastructure, and the use of floating solar panels on reservoirs is being explored to increase the use of renewable energy despite limited land area. Singapore also has an Urban Mobility initiative that includes a demand-based public transit system, and an electric vehicle car-sharing program.
Bonn, Germany has set an ambitious climate target: a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020 compared to 1990 levels. Achieving this target will require close cooperation between multiple levels of government (i.e., EU, federal, state) and active participation by stakeholders. Initiatives include renewable energy use in municipal buildings and facilities, renewable energy-enabled grids, a solar roof registry, and an energy agency that provides homeowners advice on retrofits and renewable energy options. The City also sponsors a Bonn Energy Day to increase public awareness, and a climate ambassadors program for third graders to earn “climate licenses” that come with celebrations and media attention.
Cities engaged in climate partnerships with their twin cities can also be an effective means of increasing climate change mitigation efforts and sharing best climate practices. Bonn participates in climate initiatives with its twin cities of La Paz, Bukhara, and Cape Coast. Another example is Zoersel, Belgium, working closely with its twin city, Bohicon, Benin, on cooperative projects on organic waste treatment, agricultural waste management, and the incorporation of Sustainable Development Goals in local government strategic plans.