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A youth-led initiative in the Federated States of Micronesia

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Global Environment Facility (GEF), and partners have launched UrbanShift – a new global initiative to improve lives and transform cities into green and liveable spaces that address climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.

Cities are home to 4.2 billion people, more than half of the world’s population. But they face growing challenges – from floods, storms, and heatwaves triggered by the climate crisis to dangerous air quality, lack of affordable housing, and deep social divides.

Cities already account for about 70 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. By 2050, they must become carbon neutral to hold global temperature rise to under 1.5 °C – all while growing to hold nearly 70 percent of the world’s population.

UrbanShift will support 23 cities in Argentina, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone to adopt integrated approaches to urban development, helping shape cities that are efficient, resilient, and inclusive. It builds on the lessons and experiences of the Sustainable Cities Integrated Approach Pilot program which was launched by the GEF during its sixth replenishment cycle.

UrbanShift is working with cities to promote integrated development approaches such as nature-based solutions, low-carbon public transport systems, low-emission zones, and integrated waste management.

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UN and partners launch billion-dollar initiative to transform cities for people and planet