50% of the global population lives in cities, and these account for up to 70% of all GHG. In fact, urban areas that are flourishing economically are often the major culprits since the resulting activities from an economic boom can have tremendous global impact.
In the February issue of The Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, researchers demonstrated how cities can affect major change through realistic measures and achievable steps.
The study focused on Toronto’s transportation, energy supply, and buildings. In addition to detailing the major issues causing GHG, the researchers laid a path out for curbing these gases, including encouraging citizens to bicycle or use electric cars.
According to experts, if these policies are put in place, over the next 20 years GHG emissions may be lowered up to 30%. Unfortunately, to make this dream a reality, a huge number of existing structures would have to be retrofitted, and renewable heating and cooling systems would have to be installed.
Toronto’s building stock is the biggest obstacle. Buildings last decades, so replacing older buildings with more energy-efficient ones can take many years.