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Buenos Aires City plans to halve its emissions by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2050

May 5, 2021

The City of Buenos Aires has published its Climate Action Plan 2050, a roadmap that sets out targeted measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), increase resilience and inclusiveness, and become fully climate neutral by the year 2050.

© Pulpa Studio

To achieve this, Buenos Aires will reduce its emissions by 53% by the year 2030 and by 84% by 2050. The interim target for 2030 positions it among the most ambitious cities worldwide when it comes to tackling the global climate crisis.

"Climate action is one of the central priorities of our government," said Horacio Rodriguez Larreta, Mayor of Buenos Aires. "We are at a crossroads in climate history where cities' commitments to climate action and building resilience will be critical to our post-pandemic recovery and to the success of key international climate milestones."

“Our Climate Action Plan reflects not only the importance we attach to tackling the global climate crisis and mitigating climate risks on our doorstep, but also our broader vision of continuing to build our city on a more human scale to prioritize public space, sustainability and quality of life," the mayor added.

Among other measures, the city has set ambitious targets to have 80% of all residential buildings retrofitted according to strict energy efficiency standards by 2050, and 70% of all new buildings to use solar thermal energy.

It has set zero emission targets for public buses by 2050 and is investing in improving public spaces to create 15 new pedestrian zones and ensure that three-quarters of all passengers exclusively use public and non-motorized transport by 2030. The Upgrades and expansion of storm water capture systems that take advantage of the natural environment to reduce flooding risks will also take place.

The plan development process started in 2017 at the Bonn Climate Conference, where together with 23 other pioneering cities, Buenos Aires committed to carbon neutrality by the year 2050. Support for the plan’s development has been given by the UK government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through C40 Cities. C40 is the climate leadership group made up of leading cities around the world, of which Mayor Rodriguez Larreta is Vice-Chair for the Latin America region and sits on the Steering Committee where he leads the C40 agenda for 15-minute cities.

"With the launch of this ambitious climate action plan, Mayor Larreta reaffirms his commitment to help solve the climate crisis while ensuring a more resilient and inclusive future for Buenos Aires,” said Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40 Cities.

“Bold actions in the areas of energy, transport and green infrastructure and a focus on the most vulnerable groups also makes this a fundamental tool to foster a green and just recovery in the city. C40 is proud to have been a close partner during the preparation of the plan and we look forward to working with the city in the next stages of implementation,” he added.

“Buenos Aires is one of very first cities in Latin America region to revise and update its plans for climate action in the lead up to the COP26, joining other major global cities like London, New York and Paris,” said Fernando Straface, Secretary General and Secretary for International Relations of the city of Buenos Aires. “Our commitment to climate action will also be key to attracting international talent and promoting economic development, supporting the transition to jobs of the future and generating new opportunities.”

Actions and targets in the Buenos Aires Climate Action Plan

Buenos Aires’ climate action plan covers 24 areas of action under main four pillars:

1. A prepared city, able to adapt quickly and show resilience in the face of new challenges, one that uses the natural environment to help mitigate the effects of climate change. Key targets include:

  • Large infrastructure projects to reduce risks: no single person requiring evacuation as a result of extreme weather conditions by 2050.
  • Using the environment as a solution: all flood-risk zones in the city to be connected to Stormwater Management Ponds (SWMPs) by 2050.
  • Storm and flood preparedness: no injuries caused by storms by 2050
  • More and better trees: 100,000 more trees by the year 2025 (23% increase).
  • More and better green spaces: 400m average distance from a local green space for every resident by 2025.

2. A city that prioritizes proximity to local amenities, designed on a human scale to improve residents’ well being and quality of life, and healthier, more efficient and sustainable mobility. Key targets include:

  • Prioritizing pedestrians: 15 new pedestrian zones across the city by 2030 that will incorporate more vegetation and demand a reduction of speed limits for vehicles in bordering zones.
  • Streets to meet: 48 “calles de encuentro”, a pedestrian street in every one of the city’s 48 neighbourhoods designated for neighbourhood meetings and cultural events.
  • More bikes, fewer emissions: 1 million daily journeys to be taken by bike by 2023, and a continuation of the ongoing extension of bicycle lanes that already run 267 km across the city.
  • Efficient public transport: 30% reduction times on Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) travel system (“Metrobus”) by 2035.

3. An innovative and low carbon city, one that adopts more sustainable technologies and habits vis-a-vis urban infrastructure and logistics, housing, public transport and waste management. Key interim targets and long-term 2050 targets include:

  • Low-emission transport:
    • 50% of buses to be zero emissions by 2030; 100% by 2050. 75% of passengers using public and non-motorized transport by 2030; 80% by 2050.
    • 30% of private vehicles to be low-emission vehicles by 2030; 100% by 2050.
  • Efficient urban logistics: 2 ultra low emission zones to be created by 2030.
  • Improving residential buildings: 30% of residential buildings to be retrofitted according to modern energy efficiency standards by 2030; 80% by 2050.
  • Efficient new buildings: Annual carbon dioxide reduction equivalent of 3.5 million tonnes (3.5 mt CO2eq).
  • Efficient public buildings: all public buildings in the city to have energy efficiency plans by 2025.
  • Towards clean energy: 40% of new buildings to use solar thermal energy by 2030; 70% by 2050.
  • Towards a circular economy: 80% of green waste to be composted by 2030.
  • Better waste separation at origin: 100% of paper and cardboard to be treated/ recycled by 2050.
  • Better waste treatment: 80% of organic waste treated by 2040.

4. An inclusive city that integrates its most vulnerable populations and neighbourhoods into its sustainable practices. Targets for 2030 and 2050 include:

  • Integrating neighbourhoods: access to basic services for all local populations involved in the urbanization projects in vulnerable neighbourhoods by 2030
  • Resident preparedness: All neighbourhood centres for vulnerable older adults to run the city’s adaptation programmes on extreme weather events.
  • Public health network: all residents without health coverage and at risk of negative health impacts caused by extreme weather conditions to be registered in the public health system by 2030.
  • Clean air: 100% compliance with WHO air quality standards.
  • Sustainable foodstuffs: all vulnerable neighborhoods to contain vegetable gardens by 2025.
  • Green Schools: all public schools in the city to teach specific curricula that enable them to be classified as Green Schools (Escuelas Verdes) by 2030.

Download an executive summary of the City of Buenos Aires Climate Action Plan in Spanish and English. The full plan (Spanish only) can be downloaded here.

All climate-related policies in Buenos Aires can also be found on the open data platform, BA Cambio Climático (in Spanish).

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