The climate crisis is widely recognized as the number one threat facing the world today.

And it is our cities and towns which are responsible for much of the climate change, which is resulting in devastating floods, droughts and violent storms.

In fact, cities and towns produce around 70 percent of the main greenhouse gases.

Unless we take urgent action, the greenhouse gases produced by ever expanding urban centres, will continue to push global air temperatures higher.

This is why the theme of this year’s World Habitat Day on Monday 4 October is “Accelerating Urban Action for a Carbon Free World”.

World Habitat Day provides an international opportunity to raise awareness and push for immediate action, through events, discussions and campaigns.

And this year, in the run up to the international climate change summit COP 26, we need immediate action in developing and implementing zero carbon plans.

The recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity for the world’s cities, to put climate action on top of their agenda.

This is a chance to change how we generate our power, construct our buildings, heat, cool and light up our offices and homes, and travel around from home to work.

We need clean, resource efficient energy, to replace fossil fuels. We need energy efficient infrastructure to encourage walking and cycling.

And we need well planned and well managed compact cities, that allow for non-motorized transport, to reduce energy consumption from cooling and heating, so the natural and built environment come together in greater harmony.

Cities are the incubators of innovation and new technology. We must harness this strength for better climate change solutions.

Climate action will differ from city to city, but we must make sure the green transition benefits everyone, especially the most vulnerable, and creates new jobs. The only way forward is for everyone to work together to ensure that our climate goals are met. Through implementation of the New Urban Agenda to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Download the Message

World Habitat Day 2021 message from UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif