The New Climate Economy (NCE), a flagship project of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate has released a report documenting how urbanization drives of productivity and growth in the global economy. The report titled, ‘Better Growth, Better Climate,’ observes that as the global economy undergoes a deep structural transformation the next 15 years will be marked by: (i) rapid global economic expansion by more than half, (ii) rapid technological advancement that will have profound impact on both businesses and lives, (iii) migration of a billion more people into cities, and (iv) investment of nearly US$90 trillion in infrastructure in asset intensive sectors mainly in urban, land use and energy systems.
To overcome market, policy and institutional barriers to low-carbon growth, the report recommends harnessing three key “drivers of change,” notably: raising resource efficiency, investing in infrastructure and stimulating innovation in new business models, technologies, business models and social-technical innovations and practices to stimulate both growth and emissions reduction.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Philipp Rode, the Executive Director of LSE Cities and Senior Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science said that:
dispersed peripheralized development of many developing world cities in particular leads to a very regressive form of urban development replicating income and wealth inequalities by limiting access to common goods such as healthcare, better schools, and public transport.
The report identifies better urbanization, better development, and better coordination of critical economic systems as vital drivers of change in cities.
The report recommends a 10-point global action plan, including:
- integrating climate into core economic decision-making processes to accelerate low-carbon transformation;
- phasing out subsidies for hydrocarbon fuels, and incentives for urban sprawl;
- introduce strong, predictable carbon prices;
- pursue a strong, lasting and equitable international climate treaty;
- strengthen incentives for long-term investment in forestry and forest protection;
- reduce capital costs for low-carbon infrastructure investments;
- scale up innovation in key low-carbon and climate-resilient technologies;
- emphasize on developing a connected and compact cities paradigm;
- accelerate fuel switching away from polluting coal-fired power generation to low carbon fuels; and
- restore lost or degraded forests and agricultural lands by 2030.