BRIEF – 17 June: Melbourne will become one of 16 major urban projects to try to become “climate positive” in an initiative launched by the The Clinton Climate Initiative and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

The aim is for The Climate Positive Development Program to reduce the amount of on-site CO2 emissions to below zero.

According to a joint announcement by the program sponsors, “Sixteen founding projects on six continents, supported by local governments and property developers, will demonstrate Climate Positive strategies, setting a compelling environmental and economic example for cities to follow,” an announcement by the program’s founders said .

They comprise: Melbourne, Australia; Palhoça, Brazil; Toronto, Canada; Victoria, Canada; Ahmedabad, India; Jaipur, India; outside Panama City, Panama; Pretoria, South Africa; Johannesburg, South Africa; Seoul, South Korea; Stockholm, Sweden; London, UK; San Francisco, USA and Destiny Florida, USA.

According to the statement, “last year, for the first time, half the world’s population (3.2 billion people) lived in cities, and that figure is expected to grow to 70 per cent by 2050.

“Cities also occupy just 2 percent of the world’s landmass, yet are responsible for more than two-thirds of global energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

“Rapid urban growth and climate change are putting our world’s cities in a vise grip of escalating infrastructure, energy, and health and human services costs that will be magnified by the pressure of climatic adaptation. How cities change and grow is therefore a critical component to tackling the climate crisis.”

USGBC president, chief executive officer and founding chairman Rick Fedrizzi commented, “A program that aims to set a new global benchmark has to be set on solid metrics. We know this from our experience with LEED, and believe it’s fundamental to delivering immediate and measureable results.”

See www.clintonfoundation.org. And www.usgbc.org.