Giving Compass' Take:

· Adele Peters reports that although Western cities have been working hard to reduce their carbon output, their international shopping habits contribute massively to climate change. 

· How can funders work to increase climate-friendly habits in cities? 

· Here are five ways you can help address climate change right now.

Western cities are working hard to eliminate their emissions, but that doesn’t address emissions from making and shipping products that people buy from other countries.

As countries move slowly on climate change, many cities–which account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions and can act more nimbly in terms of policy–are working to fill the gap. Paris, San Francisco, and others are moving to 100% renewable electricity. Los Angeles is working to help get Angelenos out of cars and aiming for zero emissions transportation by 2050. Milan is planting 3 million trees. New York City is retrofitting skyscrapers.

But a new report from C40, a network of the world’s largest cities that focuses on climate action, makes it clear that cities need to go beyond what’s happening inside city limits and also tackle emissions from products that end up there–from food to mobile phones to clothing. If a pair of jeans is made in a factory in Vietnam running on coal power, crosses the ocean in a cargo ship running on dirty fuel, and then gets in a truck running on diesel, the person who buys those jeans in San Francisco bears some responsibility for that total footprint.

After analyzing emissions in its member cities along with experts from Arup and the University of Leeds, C40 found that consumption in those cities is responsible for 10% of global emissions. To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, it says, emissions from consumption in high-income cities need to drop by two-thirds within a decade. “If you don’t look at consumption, you’re missing out on a chance for urban consumers, for businesses, for citizens, to influence a much bigger piece of the pie,” says Tom Bailey, a senior research manager at C40 Cities.

Read the full article about fighting climate change with shopping habits by Adele Peters at Fast Company.