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City dwellers can have an outsized impact on curbing global warming

Julia Rosen, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Science & Technology News

If countries follow through with the commitments they've already made under the Paris deal, C40 cities could accomplish 70% of their needed emissions reductions. Closing the rest of that gap -- which must happen by 2050 to hit the 1.5-degree Celsius temperature target -- would require even more aggressive actions across the board.

Cutting consumption-related emissions may ultimately mean rethinking the growth-oriented nature of our modern economies, Pincetl said.

"What reducing consumption implies is a reduction of economic activity," she said. "And in a capitalist economic system, it's a little scary for people to think about that kind of change."

Many cities show encouraging signs. Already, 27 C40 cities have seen their emissions drop. San Francisco has reduced its carbon footprint by 36% since 1990 and aims to be carbon-neutral by 2050. In April, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti unrolled his version of the Green New Deal to put the city on the same path.

Bailey said he hopes the report will help city leaders and residents see just how much they can do.

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"This is a conversation starter," he said.

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