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UN chief highlights cities’ contribution to advancing global sustainable development

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Cities, which produce the bulk of the world’s carbon emissions, are essential to creating a sustainable future for all people, according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday.

In a speech for World Cities Day, which comes on October 31, Guterres emphasized the point. The worldwide day’s 2018 theme is “Act Local to Go Global.”

By 2050, more than two-thirds of the world’s population will reside in urban regions, up from more than half today.

According to the UN head, as cities produce more than 80% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) and account for more than 70% of carbon emissions, the Sustainable Development Goals are mostly implemented in urban areas.

Many communities are already taking the lead in the switch to renewable energy, setting realistic net-zero goals and developing infrastructure that is able to withstand climate change.

To share experiences and boost ambition, Guterres urged them to collaborate with their governments and sister cities throughout the globe.

Cities’ local efforts to build a sustainable world will have an international impact. Furthermore, he noted, the revolutionary policies cities implement now may serve as a catalyst for future change that will save lives and livelihoods globally.

“Let us vow to work with cities to achieve a sustainable, inclusive, and resilient world for all,” Guterres said in a statement commemorating World Cities Day.

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