Global Carbon Project (GCP), Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) jointly organized an official side-event entitled ‘Carbon Management in Cities: Gaps in Policy Discussions and Scientific Understanding’ during the UNFCCC COP13/CMP3 meeting on December 6, 2007 at Bali, Indonesia. The side event, attended by over 100 people, was instrumental in initiating discussions on importance and role of cities on carbon management for mitigating global climate change. The side-event further highlighted not only the importance of mitigation at city scale but also the adaptation measures in cities. The event highlighted the needs for better science, bridging information gaps and more thrust for urban issues in global climate debate.

Dr. Shobhakar Dhakal, Executive Director of GCP Tukuba Office briefly introduced the GCP and highlighted objectives and goals of the side-event. Prof. S. Kumar, Dean of School of Environment, Resources and Development, AIT welcomed participants on behalf of AIT and Dr. Yasuhiro Sasano, Director, Center for Global Environmental Research, NIES welcomed on behalf of NIES.

Dr. Shobhakar Dhakal highlighted importance of urban carbon management in the context of global carbon management. He informed that past urbanization has been unprecedented in terms of speed and size and urban areas now contributes to 70-85% of the global CO2 emissions, which is expected to grow significantly due to the rapid urbanization in developing countries, especially in Asia. However, this fact also provides an opportunity for carbon management at city scale but the response from science and policy has been weaker in the past.

Presenting paper on carbon emissions and mitigations: lessons from cross-city analyses in Asia, Prof. Ram M. Shrestha of AIT said that if the proper policy directions backed by sound scientific information is ensured, cities can reduce carbon emission however the instrument and tools might vary across cities.

Dr. Richard Dawson of Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research presented paper on beyond emissions: Scientific challenges in understanding cities and climate change. He shared Tyndall Centre’s work in London and suggested that innovative approaches to adaptation and mitigation can be developed by evidence-based integrated assessment of cities and climate change and scientific community can provide the key needed knowledge to city authorities.

Dr. Debra Roberts of EThekwini Municipality presenting on the need for pragmatic carbon management: bridging the science/policy divide at the local government level, emphasized on the importance of adaptation and mitigation issues for her city and information that decision makers need from science to develop appropriate policies.