Climate change is the most serious threat to humanity in the 21st century. According to UN Habitat, cities consume 78% of the world’s energy and produce the majority of global greenhouse gas emissions. As urbanisation is expected to accelerate even more, cities will have even bigger impact on the environment and climate. Many of them are also the first to experience number of consequences of the changing climate – rising sea levels, extreme heat, water scarcity and air pollution among others. Interestingly, the entities with the most ambitious climate goals are rarely countries – usually, they are cities.
Luckily, many cities around the world have realised this and are taking steps to combat the climate crisis. This comes in the forms of setting visionary plans, such as zero carbon strategies (set by Eastern European cities such as Tartu, Riga, Zadar and Bistrita), as well as implementing a diverse range of green solutions – investing in sustainable transport, green roofs, renewable energy sources and so on.
Another aspect that is very important for developing just cities is zoning and the prevention of urban sprawl, eliminating planning mistakes that lead to car centric cities, lack of diversity and lack of safety in the city, that negatively affects the economics of the city. Climate crisis is caused by growth based economics, but on a planet with finite resources, we cannot have a system that is based on eternal growth. Cities are main polluters and as they are expected to grow, it is important that we ensure this growth in size happens in the most just and environmentally friendly way and that the cities do not become too huge, as this would prevent the city dwellers from becoming united entity. The exchange about the good practices should never stop, this can be inter-city cooperation, such as the alliance of free cities started by Budapest and Warsaw, or an exchange of young people from all over the Eastern Europe, that is following the bad practices of urbanisation and has a great need of young people educated on the issue.
This is why the Cooperation and Development Network (CDN) is organising a study session “Green Cities for Sustainable Planet” which will take place from 7th to 12th of November 2022 in the European Youth Centre in Budapest, Hungary. The arrival date for the participants is 6th and departure date is 13th.
With this activity we aim to empower 35 young Eastern Europeans in tackling climate change through exploring the intersectionality of globalisation, capitalism and environmental issues – this event will provide a holistic approach towards climate change by focusing on communities, economy, human rights and urbanism and support the participants in developing new attitudes towards climate change, through exploring how governments, businesses and citizens can enable the urban and economic shift to a greener transition.
This will be done by meeting the following objectives:
- To deepen participants’ understanding of climate change by exploring the role that cities should play in fighting climate crisis and how latter is connected to urbanization and post-growth economics;
- To equip participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to practice and advocate for city-level climate, economic and social justice;
- To provide the participants with the space to create a practical guide on transitioning one’s lifestyle and living environment into a more green and environmentally friendly one.
This youth event will be based on Non Formal Education methodology. Here you can find provisional agenda.