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Sustainable cities and transport

Over 50 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas and are responsible for 70 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. This impacts on climate change and threatens increased exposure to climate and disaster events, such as sea level rise and storm surges. Working with cities to do their part and contribute to a zero-carbon, risk-informed development future is therefore essential.

Heavy concentration and consumption mean that many cities are increasingly vulnerable to negative outcomes of climate change, including through coastal flooding, infrastructure damage or jeopardized energy, and water and food security during and as a result of extreme weather events. Yet urban areas have proven opportunities to address these issues. The reduction in cost of lithium-ion batteries, for example, has contributed significantly to the uptake of electric vehicles. Meanwhile the increased electrification of vehicles in the future could enable further decarbonization of a sector responsible for a quarter (23 percent) of global energy-related GHG emissions.

UNDP’s support to sustainable cities includes integrated solutions that combine renewable energy and efficiency measures with other aspects of urban design, such as sustainable mobility, transport, and waste management. In addition, UNDP’s energy-related portfolio includes a growing number of sustainable transport projects in cities around the world. This includes support to the uptake of sustainable transport technologies and systems, bus rapid transit, fuel cell bus and light rail, and the use of biofuels. Together, these initiatives contribute to a reduction in transport-related GHG emissions and an improvement in living quality standards in urban areas.

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