Developing low carbon and resilient cities serves as an important pathway for realizing national and local mitigation targets while assuring long-term economic growth and improving the quality of life. This compendium collates a total of 20 cases from North-East Asia on how cities and urban centres are making efforts to reduce their carbon emissions and build resilience through the following 4 categories:
- Governance and Policy
- Stakeholder Engagement
- Nature Based and Innovative Solutions
- Circular Economy
Since the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015, there has been growing commitments to the transition to a low carbon economy, with more than 130 countries committed to achieving netzero carbon emissions as of early 2022. In North-East Asia, Japan and the Republic of Korea have pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050, whereas China has committed to building an ‘ecological civilization’ with carbon emissions peaking before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2060. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has also pledged to reduce its emissions footprint by 15.63 percent by 2030 and 50.34 percent with international support. Mongolia has also enhanced the target of its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to achieve a 22.7 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its business-as-usual scenario by 2030 through domestic efforts and to increase its reduction target to 27.2 percent with international support. The Russian Federation also aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 starting with transforming the fossil-fuelrich Sakhalin Island into carbon neutral by 2025.
With the increasing urbanization of countries within the subregion, cities play critical roles for implementing projects and policies towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and meeting pledged reductions in GHG emissions. As in many of the cases presented in this compendium, reducing such emissions often has impacts on many interrelated SDG Goals, often helping to reduce poverty, improve food and energy security, as well as improving the ecosystem for both wildlife and humans. The compendium aims to facilitate learning between cities and accelerate the implementation of emissions reduction measures that are effective for their local conditions.