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COP26 Cities, Regions and Built Environment: expert comment

Today's theme at the COP26 conference in Glasgow is 'Cities, Regions and Built Environment'. Read comment and opinions from our University of Warwick experts, and find out how their work contributes to reaching global climate goals.

Dr Vangelis Pitidis, Research Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Studies, and member of the Institute for Global Sustainable Development, said:

"Breaking conceptual and operational silos within and across geographical and administrative scales, along with empowering a wider network of citizens and community groups whilst meaningfully involving them in the co-production of a shared vision for the future is fundamental for accelerating climate action and building sustainable and resilient communities."

Dr Darren Hughes is an Associate Professor in Materials and Manufacturing at WMG. The Coventry Very Light Rail system is one of the many projects in which he is involved. Dr Hughes commented:

"I work at the interface between the need for climate change policies and their practical implementation in transport. Unfortunately mankind may find solutions to climate change, but practically they MUST be affordable. Importantly, the solutions should not only appear to work, we need to quantify the longer term impact to avoid poor decision making and negative impacts. We achieve this via life cycle analysis. A good example is that, depending upon the electricity mix of a country, it can be better in terms of TOTAL LIFETIME CO2 for a car to be powered by diesel rather than batteries.

"I am leading a project to develop a zero emission (at point of use) public transport system for the City of Coventry. Like many cities, Coventry would like to encourage modal shift from personal cars which have significant local and global emissions (both CO2 and air quality). To achieve this, they would like a tram system. However, the cost to adopt schemes to drive reduction in climate change emissions can be a very large barrier as typical tram installation costs are of the order of £50m+ per km. We have developed an affordable solution, utilising battery powered trams, that targets £10m per km. This is a potential game changing solution that will enable small/medium sized cities to adopt low carbon mobility solutions."

Further comment to come today...

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