“Even before the election of Donald Trump, it was clear that states and cities — what climate nerds call “subnational actors” — are central to tackling climate change. Now that the US federal government is getting out of the climate protection business, at least for four years, subnational actors are more important than ever.
Cities generate most of the world’s economic activity, innovation, and cultural ferment. They also generate a growing share of its carbon emissions: according to the IPCC, cities are responsible for about 75 percent of global energy-related CO2 emissions. That number will only grow as the world continues to urbanize, especially in fast-growing nations like China and India.
Urban areas are also first in line to feel the effects of climate change. About 90 percent of urban areas in the world are coastal, so if nothing else, they will deal with sea level rise. Some 70 percent already report dealing with climate impacts.”