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UN chief highlights benefits of green cities



UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said cities and towns are at the heart of climate action. (file)

New York:

On the occasion of World Habitat Day, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for cities to be more eco-friendly. He said there are “enormous” benefits to adopting this approach, including less climate risk, more jobs and better health and well-being.

In his message for World Habitat Day on Monday, Antonio Guterres said, “City leadership in using green materials and building energy efficient, resilient buildings powered by renewable energy is essential to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. “

The theme of this year’s celebration of cities and towns around the world is “Accelerating Urban Action for a Carbon Free World”.

According to UN News, cities are responsible for about 75 percent of the world’s energy consumption and more than 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The UN chief said that urban areas around the world are facing the twin crises of COVID-19 and climate change.

The publication said that 4.5 billion people live in cities today, but by 2050 this population is projected to grow by about 50 percent. By the middle of the century, more than 1.6 billion urban residents could survive an average summer of 35 °C. Added report.

According to Mr Guterres, cities and towns are at the heart of climate action to keep the 1.5 degree target within reach.

“Three-quarters of the infrastructure that exists in 2050 is yet to be built,” the UN chief said. “Economic recovery plans provide a generational opportunity to place climate action, renewable energy and sustainable development at the center of cities’ strategies and policies.”

With growing populations in emerging economies, the demand for transportation, which accounts for about 20 percent of global carbon emissions, is also increasing. In this context, the UN chief said that cities are already working on this, trying to ensure that this demand is met by zero-emissions vehicles and public transport.

Mr Guterres called for a global moratorium on internal combustion engines to undercut these efforts, saying it should be by 2040 at the latest.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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