Cities & Climate – COP21 Fellow Research with EPI

At COP21 in Paris, the big story will be about cities. Cities are leading on climate change, and use local climate action plans to prioritize strategies to reduce their emissions – including through land use and transportation planning. I’m interested in how cities are acting on climate because when we have an international climate agreement, local actions will be among the most successful ways to stop global warming.

This fall, I am working with Yale’s Environmental Performance Index to better understand how cities are using transportation-oriented policies in their climate planning, such as creating new transit corridors, restricting development that would increase pollution, or installing more bike lanes. These are powerful tools that can help reduce pollution associated with transportation – which is about one third of all the U.S.’s carbon pollution.

In Paris, I’ll be interviewing local mayors about their climate plans and how climate change will impact their city, and incorporate their thoughts into my research. Climate change is a global problem with local consequences – and local solutions.

Follow me on twitter @EmilyWier for updates during COP21 and check out my latest blog post for more information on my research.