By 2050, up to 55% of the world population will be living in urban areas, consuming 80% of the world’s food. Already around a third of produced food goes to waste at a value of USD 940 billion annually.
Local leaders will need to mobilise their communities to tackle the very different challenges they will face and seize new opportunities in making the transition to net zero, as set out in the 2021 OECD Regional Outlook. In doing so, they can bring together solutions to generate important local well-being benefits.
Every year the city of Brussels imports over 60 000 tons of wood, when the wood could be sourced from the Sonian Forest just outside the city. Instead, most of the wood sourced from the forest is exported to Asia to be processed and sent back as finished products. The Sonian Wood Coop was launched in 2019 to change this dynamic.
Greening can clearly save costs: improving energy efficiency in SMEs can Iead to cost savings by reducing their energy demand by 10- 30%. Beyond such cost benefits, improved energy efficiency can strengthen small-business resilience by reducing exposure to energy-price volatility and uncertainty, and improve product quality and safety.
On the eve of COP26, attention is firmly focused on the climate challenge and the need for action by governments, big business, and households. Yet there will be no transition to net zero without small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).