Cities and climate action after Paris: key opportunities and priorities

Executive Summary

The 2015 Paris Climate Summit provided a powerful demonstration of the leadership role which cities and regions are playing in closing the gap between national emission reduction commitments and the actions required to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees.

A rapidly expanding array of sub-national climate action networks and alliances is further strengthening the capacity of cities and regions to accelerate emissions reductions and maximise the economic and employment opportunities arising from the global transition to a zero carbon economy.

Many Australian cities and regions are demonstrating strong leadership in designing and implementing ambitious emission reduction strategies. Maximising the full potential of Australian city level climate action will however require far stronger climate policy leadership by Commonwealth and State governments.

Key climate change policy challenges facing cities include strengthening the governance, financing and implementation capabilities required to drive emissions reductions at the necessary speed and scale. Continuing improvements in co-operation and communication between individual cities and between national and international networks will also be crucial.

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Prof Brendan Gleeson

Prof John Wiseman

Stephen Pollard