The last years I focused on energy transition and sustainable city development. Cities are the key actors in the search for a sustainable world.
They are facing immediately the challenges, they feel the urge to act now, the need to step up to a better world.
The Good and the Bad
Their streets are congested; their air is polluted, their rising populations are in the need for food and water which will become scarcer due to climate change; and more direct, their firemen are dying fighting the forest fires increased by climate change.
On the other hand, they have the good and the bad; they have the universities, knowledge hubs and research centres; they house the corporate headquarters and the financial institutions; they have the know-how, the will and the awareness.
Moreover, the last years cities are uniting, addressing a global problem local, but with a global perspective. Cities cross the land borders, exchange information, knowledge and experience, some even exchange staff.
Many mayors are stepping up, for their people, for the planet, and not by foregoing economic profit. In September 2018 lots of Mayors gathered together in San Francisco, In November a number of Mayors organised the first U20 in Buenos Aires, a top of cities to put climate change in the agenda of the G20 later that month. And preparing for the COP24 which starts now, December 3rd.
Additionally, many cities realize that they have to act together, with a variety of actors, from citizens and schools to companies and universities. Interaction and cooperation are key to achieve a bigger goal which surpasses the individual interests.
Some cities around the world are pioneering, showing the light for others to follow; their visionary leaders started from an idea, rebuilt their city from scratch and made a dream become true; however, these cities demonstrate as well that a dream has to be maintained and adapted to the changing reality to become a real success.
It is interesting to see how many people around the world are motivated, and willing to change. But is painful as well to see how many actors are not willing to change at all, are putting their own or economic interests above anything else.
Yes we can!
‘It is still possible,’ he told me, waiting long after my question. The silence had been painful, I saw him thinking, I remembered his colleagues, the speeches I’ve heard the days before; the ones that made me cry because of the current state of our planet and hence of us, our future which can be destroyed today; but as well of the ones that made me smile and filled me with joy because of the enthusiasm of those who are fighting for the good, working on a better planet, a future, created today. ‘It is still possible,’ he repeated, ‘but I cannot say it will be easy.’
I look forward to the COP24, which will be hold in Katowice, Poland, in the beginning of December 2018. That will be the moment when countries will receive the last chance; momentum is created with the last IPCC-report covering the severe consequences of climate change by 1.5 degrees Celcius, which the current Paris Agreement will surpass anyways.
Katowice can be the place where the future will be destroyed or saved; it will be one of the last chances to step up, and fight for our right to live.
[To be continued…]