#Goal13 City Levels Green, Amber or even Red

#Goal13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

The highly developed industrialized nations’ responsibility to combat climate change is obvious and cannot be overestimated. Similar to the issue of sustainable consumption and production patterns, the rich countries need to become leading examples if the goal of combating climate change and its consequences is not to remain mere lip service. Effectively reducing CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions is imperative in this regard. The data displayed in figures 13.1 and 13.2 show how far many OECD countries are still lagging behind compared to the respective benchmark countries of the sample.

13_1

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Figure 13.1 provides information on production-based CO2 emissions per capita. “Production-based” means that emissions refer to gross direct CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion, emitted within the national territory excluding bunkers, sinks, and indirect effects. In the fi ve leading countries, Mexico, Turkey, Sweden, Portugal, and Hungary, as well as in sixth-ranked Chile, production based CO2 emissions are below 5 tons per capita. These countries’ performances stand in stark contrast to the respective emission levels of countries placed at the bottom of the list, such as Canada, the United States, Australia, and Luxembourg. Here, CO2 emissions range from 15.3 (Canada) to 19.47 tons per capita (Luxembourg).

13_2

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The second snapshot indicator links emission levels to the size of a country’s economy, and refers to total greenhouse gas emissions per GDP. Greenhouse gas emissions include land use, land-use change, and forestry, and are measured in CO2 equivalents as a percentage of GDP (tons per million constant 2005 int. USD PPP). The findings are remarkable: While Sweden is by far the top-performing country with an amount of 66.75 tons, Estonia comes in last place with 680 tons – more than ten times as much as in the case of the leading country. Moreover, Sweden is the only country ranked among the top five on both indicators chosen here.

With regard to greenhouse gas emissions per GDP, Norway, Switzerland, Finland, and France follow in places two to five. In fifth-ranked France, however, emissions are already nearly four times as high as in Sweden. At the negative end of the spectrum, Canada and Australia again find themselves in the bottom group. Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions per GDP amount to 641 tons, which means that the country ranks second to last on both indicators of goal 13.

Source: SDG Index and Dashboards – Global Report

The Czech Republic greatly managed the UN summit on sustainable housing development

The Czech Republic greatly managed the #EuropeanHabitat
16-18 March 2016: Three days of urban discussions in Prague with almost 4,000 experts worldwide on the future development of cities and municipalities. The UN Habitat Conference, organized by the Ministry for Regional Development, headed by the Minister Karla Šlechtová ended on Friday, 18 March 2016 with approval for the #PragueDeclaration. The document will have a direct impact on UN policy in the field of sustainable development and be part of the roadmap leading up to Habitat III in Quito. The Czech Republic and organisers have not only mastered the difficult preparation and organisation of the conference, but they also carry away a few key messages for further work and development in the area.

In line with what Minister Ms. Karla Šlechtová already mentioned in her opening speech on the first day, both the Conference and the #PragueDeclaration were not to be just about discussing, they were to bring a factual content and specific outcomes with an effective meaning for the future. Theses the Prague Declaration:

  • The Declaration is based on four principles: Innovative and productive cities, Green, compact, resource-efficient and versatile (resilient) cities, Inclusive and safe cities, Good urban governance.
  • Emphasis is put primarily on support to proper planning and management to be conducted in cooperation with all levels of governance and communities; a unified approach is vital in the effort to maximise the potential of cities, social cohesion and access to services; affordability of housing as a key factor of quality of life is one of the main features of viable cities; urban development planning must involve the effort to minimise impacts on the environment and to enhance economic, social and environmental sustainability.
  • We are facing various challenges relating to housing and sustainable urban development in the regions: urban poverty, demographic changes, #climate changes and based on science disaster risk reduction #DRR, urban development and mandated growth, coordination of urban development, use of relevant technologies.
  • Key directions from Prague to Quito: supporting cities by strengthening their capacity for innovation including social innovations and job creation, supporting optimal use of resources, equal access to affordable housing and services, eliminating poverty and exclusion, providing affordable, safe, inclusive and high-quality public space and safe transport, healthy financial management in municipalities, ensuring sustainable sources of financing, reinforcing the dialogue between various levels of government and relevant actors.

European HABITAT in Prague on 16 – 18. 3. 2016 (summary)

Some facts about the UN Conference on the European Habitat

  • It was attended by nearly 4,000 thousand experts from around the world.
  • During the Conference a total of 96 separate official events and dozens of bilateral negotiations were conducted.
  • In total there were more than 300 hours of expert discussions.
  • More than 50 experts took the floor.
  • Significantly the conference also involved the Czech representatives, in the main program and accompanying activities.
  • The main outcome of the Conference is the Prague Declaration, the final version of which has been worked on by the international Advisory Board and with the participation of Minister of Regional Development Ms. Karla Šlechtová.
  • The Conference was held on an area of more than 42,000 sq-m2 in the Prague Congress Centre.
  • In addition to the PCC, more places in Prague hosted the Conference accompanying activities.
  • An organisation team of more than 150 people looked after the organisation of the Conference.
  • More than 11,000 meters of cabling where installed in the Prague Congress Centre in order to provide technical setting to the Conference.
  • About 100 model works created by students were exposed in the Congress Centre – many of them 3D models of planned buildings.