Maintaining rich urban biodiversity fights climate change, food and water scarcity, says a new UN analysis, reports the UN Enivronmental Programme, and can greatly improve global sustainable development. This first global assessment on the relationship between urbanization and biodiversity loss, entitled Cities and Biodiversity Outlook (CBO), argues that cities should aim for a rich biodiversity and take stewardship of crucial ecosystem services rather than being sources of large ecological footprints. Over 60 percent of the land projected to become urban by 2030 has yet to be built. If current trends continue, 70 percent of the global urban population will be urban by 2050. This presents a major opportunity to greatly improve global sustainability by promoting low-carbon, resource-efficient urban development that can reduce adverse effects on biodiversity and improve quality of life. Production and consumption activities heavily concentrated in cities have contributed to some 80 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. Preservation of larger outlying green areas, green corridors that connect larger green patches, green roofs and “brownfields”, or land previously used for industrial purposes or certain commercial uses, can also be used as carbon sinks rather than emission sources.
Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.
For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte
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