BRITAIN’S government has launched a new Urban Climate Action Programme (Ucap) to support the cities and regions in developing countries including Lagos that ate most impacted by climate change in a bid to accelerate their transition to net zero emissions.
Backed with £27.5m of new UK government funding as part of the UK’s International Climate Finance commitment, the programme will support cities across Africa, Asia and Latin America. It is designed to enable them take action to tackle climate change and create a sustainable future, by helping these cities become carbon neutral by 2050 and prepare low-carbon infrastructure projects.
Once up and running the programme will help cities like Lagos, Nairobi, Kuala Lumpur and Bogotá develop low-emission public transport systems, renewable energy generation, sustainable waste management, new climate-smart buildings codes and climate risk planning. To date, over 1,000 cities and regions across the world, representing over a fifth of the global urban population, have committed to slashing their emissions to net zero by 2050 and Lagos is one of them.
With a growing population and as one of the most vulnerable coastal cities, Lagos will receive support to implement its low-carbon, inclusive and climate-resilient urban development plans through Ucap. As part of the United Nation’s Cop26 climate, the UK has called on cities yet to make commitments to step up and set a net-zero target that will help protect the places where people live and work, future-proofing the world for future generations.
Lord Callanan, Britain’s business and energy minister, said: “From our homes and workplaces to our towns and cities, the buildings we live in are a fundamental part of our daily lives but also a significant source of global emissions. That’s why at Cop26, we are calling on cities, regions, governments and businesses to seize the moment and set bold net-zero targets as we work together as a global community to end our contribution to climate change.”
Currently, the world’s urban buildings, including homes, workplaces, schools and hospitals, are responsible for around 40% of global carbon emissions. By 2050, 1.6bn people living in cities will be regularly exposed to extremely high temperatures and over 800m people living in cities across the world will be vulnerable to sea level rises and coastal flooding.
Accelerating the transition to net-zero emissions for the world’s cities will therefore be vital to achieving the goal of keeping global warming to close to 1.5º. Ben Llewellyn-Jones, the UK’s deputy high commissioner to Nigeria, said: “The population of Lagos is projected to double by 2050, and the speed and scale of urbanisation may lock in high-carbon infrastructure and inequality if we do not act now.
“Lagos has continued to drive action at scale to tackle climate change and protect people’s livelihoods. I am glad that the UK’s new programme will provide invaluable support to the state for sustainable growth, enhance resilience to climate risks, and secure a greener future for generations to come.”
Ucap will follow on from the flagship Climate Leadership in Cities programme, which was funded by the UK and successfully supported megacities in Latin America and Asia to develop ambitious climate action plans consistent with the Paris Agreement. This included developing pathways to net-zero by 2050 and committing to ambitious interim targets by 2030 to keep 1.5 degrees within reach.