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FIGURE 1 Rise in Global Disaster Damage, Based on Annual Insurance Disaster Claims, in Billions of US Dollars, Adjusted for Inflation, 1960s–2000s.


The C40 group of cities (Figure 2)1 are leading the fight against climate change, partnered with the Clinton Climate Initiative.

About 80 percent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from activities that take place in or are needed to support cities. Most of these emissions are from three sources: generation of energy, use of energy to heat and cool buildings, and transportation. In each of those sectors, C40 cities are taking specific actions that measurably and significantly reduce GHG emissions and create jobs. Many cities are also using the job creation from positive environmental strategies to address poverty by targeting the employment to those most in need, thus creating a green economy that is socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable.

Cities can learn from each other and act on new ideas. For example, upon learning of Sao Paulo’s success in generating energy through methane gas capture at a large landfill (Sao Paulo generates about 8 percent of its electricity from this project, reducing GHG emissions by 11 million metric tons), Toronto implemented a new methane gas capture project of its own. The city now pipes the methane to a nearby farm facility where it is used to generate


1 The C40 cities are an international network of megacities taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;

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