Climate change has a lot of scientific evidence that is still too academic to understand. The gap between the information and the understanding of the real problem is huge.
To bridge that gap is important to shift behaviors and consider individuals as part of the solution. Citizens are not included in climate change governance, but they can hold great contributions to address solutions, since cities produce 70% of GHG emissions and citizens live within. A behavioral change is needed but first we need conscious/educated citizens able to reduce their carbon footprint from energy, waste, transport, so on.
A collective construction of a climate change governance is possible, a multi-stakeholder one, where people are included, not only developing solutions in their local context but also connected to each other to scale up those solutions and building together low carbon and resilient cities.
If people are aware of their contribution to the problem, educated about climate change, and connected with likeminded people, it would be possible to have more resilient and livable cities, responding to climate change challenges.
That was the motivation of a group of friends to start the journey of climate entrepreneurship through the creation of Low Carbon City in 2015, right after Paris Agreement negotiations.
Low Carbon City is a citizen-led global movement building collective solutions to tackle climate change urban context. They educate citizens using creative, participatory, and artistic tools to enhance climate friendly lifestyles. They connect citizens with experts and change-maker to exchange knowledge and collaborate. And they co-create and implement solutions within communities for building low carbon and more resilient neighborhoods.
Low Carbon City has and ambassador city program with over 100 cities, where they collaborate with organizations from government, private sector, academia, civil society, as well as individuals. They created the first Low Carbon City World Forum, a citizen-led venue that gathers solutions and changemakers every year.
The first edition was held in Colombia in 2016, followed by México in 2017, Paris in 2018, and Costa Rica for next year. The Forum has mobilized 7.500 people from 66 countries and identified over 1.600 solutions in a wide pool of subjects. Additionally, through Low Carbon City's work they have mobilized over 30.000 people through more than 500 activities and projects.
The impact of this initiative has to do with behavioral change. The team believes in a bottom up approach where a growing number of citizens are taking actions to reduce their emissions and transform their cities from their daily lifestyles.
Juliana Gutiérrez tweets @Gutierrezru and is co-founder and director of Low Carbon City. She has focused her career in international cooperation for the development and sustainability, leading different causes in public, private and academic sector. Her research interest is about low carbon development and post-2020 climate governance. She has a MA in environmental studies, and a MA in international development from Korea University.