UNEP Releases Reports, Launches Initiative on Resource Efficient Cities

UNEP18 June 2012: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and partners unveiled the Global Initiative for Resource-Efficient Cities, a new initiative that aims to develop resource efficiency measures in order to achieve sustainable urban development around the world, and released two related reports.

The Global Initiative for Resource-Efficient Cities, launched at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), aims to work with national and local governments, civil society and the private sector to reduce pollution levels, promote energy efficient buildings and water use, improve sustainable waste management, reduce infrastructure costs in cities, and generate economic opportunities. Cities with populations of 500,000 or more are invited to join the initiative, which aims to attract 200 members by 2015. The initiative will also provide access to technical expertise, capacity building and funding opportunities for improving resource efficiencies, as well as create a network for cities and organizations to exchange experiences.

A new UNEP report, titled "Sustainable, Resource Efficient Cities: Making it Happen," also launched at Rio+20, outlines practical steps that cities can take towards resource efficiency including, inter alia: the integration of livability and social equality measures into new urban developments; governance approaches that engage local communities and civil society groups; smart urban design; financial incentives and subsidies for green technologies; technology transfer; and innovation.

A second UNEP report, titled "Cities and Carbon Finance: Feasibility Study on an Urban CDM," also launched at Rio+20, examines how cities can better access climate finance through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). [UNEP Press Release] [Publication: Sustainable, Resource Efficient Cities: Making it Happen] [Publication: Cities and Carbon Finance: A Feasibility Study on an Urban CDM]