Eight years after COP21 in Paris, when the world agreed to limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2050, and with seven years to go to 2030, which scientists set as deadline to halve global emissions before climate catastrophe, the COP28 taking place in Dubai at the end of November marks a very important turning point for climate action.
The effects of climate change are nowadays clear. Unprecedented extreme weather events have occurred with increasing severity this year, and cities are at the forefront of a global crisis that has frightening local consequences – with hurricanes and storms causing damages and disrupting essential infrastructures, heatwaves putting health at risk, and more.
There are encouraging signs of the global transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. In the United States, the Inflation Reduction Act assigned 300 billion dollars to investments in clean energy and energy efficiency, increasing US solar energy by 500% and more than doubling wind energy by 2035. The European Union committed to spend more than 1 trillion dollars over the next decade in renewables and energy efficiency, setting the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% compared with 1990. China put over 540 billion dollars on clean energy last year and by 2030 it may deploy enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of the entire US electrical grid three times over.
COP28 will give the opportunity to global leaders to agree more effective collaboration programs on climate change mitigation. But global commitment still requires strong local action: cities should be be part of the game, and want to play their role.
Last week, over 50 US mayors signed a letter to the Department of the Treasury to express their appreciation for the new elective pay mechanism made available by President Biden’s Clean Energy Plan. Thanks to this system, cities will benefit from clean energy tax credits, which are welcomed as “an incredible opportunity to turbocharge local climate action” and will contribute to accelerate projects for energy efficiency, rooftop solar installations, electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, and more.
The 100 European cities selected for the EU Cities Mission are making progress in their journeys to become climate neutral by 2030. They developed Climate City Contracts and specific plans for climate neutrality across different sectors such as energy, buildings, waste management, and public transportation.
Can Internet of Things and smart technologies contribute to climate action? Of course. Here are some simple, but effective ideas for climate-friendly urban communities:
- Smart Lighting solutions help cities save up to 80% of power and greenhouse emissions by controlling streetlights from remote and setting dynamic, condition-based lighting patterns;
- Smart Lighting solutions also allow cities to better control energy consumption in peak times, thus contributing to the stability of power grids and the prevention of outages;
- Smart Parking solutions cut up to 30% of traffic congestion by avoiding idle driving for parking search, as well as related fuel consumption, air pollution, time waste and stress;
- Smart Environmental Sensors allow cities to measure air quality and hyper-local environmental parameters to better safeguard citizens’ safety;
- Smart Waste solutions turn municipal solid waste collection from a burdensome cost to an opportunity to improve the quality of urban life.
Is your city willing to take climate action? Contact us today to discover how our technologies can help!