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Major cities make zero carbon pledge


Leaders of major cities across the world have pledged to make their buildings “net zero carbon’’ by 2050.

London mayor Sadiq Khan and his counterparts in New York, Sydney, Tokyo and 15 other urban centres have signed a groundbreaking agreement. 

The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Declaration commits the cities to ensuring that all old and new buildings are highly energy efficient; powered by renewable energy, preferably from on-site sources; and have carbon emissions offset by other projects where required.

Khan said: “My strategy to improve London’s environment includes some of the world’s most ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions from our homes and workplaces.

“This includes expanding my existing standard of zero carbon new homes to apply to all new buildings in 2019. We want to make London a zero carbon city by 2050 and we’re working hard to ensure its buildings are energy efficient and supplied with clean energy sources.”

The other cities to sign the deal were Copenhagen, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Montreal, Newburyport, Paris, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Monica, Stockholm, Toronto, Tshwane, Vancouver and Washington DC.

They have agreed to:

  • Establish a roadmap to reach net zero carbon buildings
  • Develop a suite of supporting incentives and programmes
  • Report annually on progress towards meeting targets
  • Evaluate the feasibility of reporting on emissions beyond operational carbon

New York mayor Bill de Blasio said: “Climate change poses an existential threat to New York City, and making our buildings more sustainable and efficient is a key part of the solution.

”With this commitment, we’re delivering on our promise to make New York City cleaner and safer for generations to come by meeting the Paris agreement. We’re proud to stand alongside other cities worldwide that are taking bold and meaningful steps to cut the pollution driving climate change.” 

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