Who's Who at the UN's Rio+20 Summit?

By Sarah Laskow - 2012-06-20T16:51:58Z

Photograph by Topic Photo Agency/Corbis

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Unlike nations, cities increasingly possess the political will and organizational capacity to take concrete action on issues of human welfare and environmental protection. By 2050, more than two-thirds of the world's people will likely live in cities, but there's no guarantee that the cities will offer sustainable transportation, safe sanitation, clean water and walkable neighborhoods.

Representatives of the cities are also interested in how the UN can help boost their efforts to share sustainability strategies, exemplified already in the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. The C40 member-cities produce about 14 percent of the world's greenhouse-gas emissions. Their actions to improve energy efficiency and invest in renewable power could reduce emissions by 248 million metric tons in 2020. The cities can cut emissions by more than 1 billion tons by 2030 -- equal to the present annual output from Mexico and Canada.

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