For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Dr. Maja Göpel
Director Future Justice
Mobile:  +49 (0) 178-617080

Climate Change: National governments must focus on Sustainable City Development

World Future Council presents “Regenerative City” report – a road map to a ‘regenerative’ urban development

CANCUN, Mexico - In a new
report titled "Regenerative Cities" the World Future Council (WFC) called today
on national governments at the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancún to enable
their cities to take vigorous measures to deal with climate change. "Cities
must be the focal point of action in the global effort to reduce global
warming", WFC Co-Founder Prof. Herbert Girardet said in an official press
conference at the UN climate summit. "Cities also must be enabled by national
governments to reduce their vast consumption of energy and materials and to
minimise their waste discharges, which put enormous pressure on the Earth's
climate and ecosystems." According to the organisation's statement, cities use
80% of global energy and materials. "Cities are at the heart of economic lives
and they need active support to build resilient future-proof economies", Prof.
Girardet continued.

The Hamburg-based organisation stated that the
majority of positive examples are rather stand-alone solutions or
state-financed prestige projects. In their report the WFC and an expert
commission of 30 internationally acknowledged climate scientists, city planners
and architects suggest 38 measures for ‘regenerative' urban development. Not
only well rehearsed measures such as energy-saving buildings or the expansion
of renewable energies, but also sewage reprocessing, the use of composted
bio-wastes in peri-urban agriculture and large scale tree planting schemes for
carbon sequestration are part of the proposed solution.

"Whilst it is crucial that the climate negotiations
need to agree upon emission reduction targets and concrete mitigation measures,
governments mustn't continue to ignore the role that cities need to play in
this endeavour", affirmed Prof. Girardet. In the report the WFC states that
global urbanisation is increasing without the existence of an appropriate
concept for sustainable urban development. According to the WFC one of the main
causes of that is a lack of awareness among national governments and urban


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Given the key role of cities in global climate and
resource protection, the World Future Council called for the creation of
national governmental bodies as well as national action plans for sustainable
city development. "The city of the 20th century, the Petropolis, is a linear, open-loop system
that receives goods linearly and discharges waste linearly. In contrast, the
city design of the 21st century has to be an Ecopolis, meaning that it operates
a circular ‘urban metabolism' that incorporates circular flows of biological
and technical resources. The Ecopolis will receive many of its key resources,
including energy resources, from its local hinterland. The nutrients that it
detracts from nature are returned by clever waste management systems. Renewable
energy sources close to cities, a dramatic increase of energy efficiency
measures as well as urban agriculture, avoid emissions and in addition create
jobs in the city centres", delineated Prof. Girardet.

The report „Regenerative Cities" is available as
or can be ordered free of charge at the World Future
Council headquarters in Hamburg,



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The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy making. Its 50 eminent members from around the globe have already successfully promoted change. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and provides decision-makers with effective policy solutions. In-depth research underpins advocacy work for international agreements, regional policy frameworks and national lawmaking and thus produces practical and tangible results.

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