By 2020, some of the most promising urban forest cities in the world could have a population of 50 million, according to a new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
But those jobs will likely go extinct within 10 years as the demand for forest products is likely to decline.
“The forest will be gone in the next 10 years,” said David Grosvenor, director of research at Bloomberg New Technology.
“We’ve got to figure out a way to create a new urban economy that is sustainable.”
Grosvenore and his colleagues, including a former chief economist for the United Nations Environment Program, analyzed the sustainability of more than 70 large forest cities around the world, and compared their sustainability indicators to the cost of their forests.
The study found that in some cases, cities with high population densities could be more sustainable than those with smaller populations.
“It is clear that urban forests have tremendous potential to support sustainable urban economies,” Grosvedor said.
The report found that a $2 billion forest is the equivalent of a town of 500,000. “
If cities can be sustainably managed, then their benefits can trickle down and be shared across the community.”
The report found that a $2 billion forest is the equivalent of a town of 500,000.
It also found that while the cities with the largest forest populations tend to have lower levels of pollution and other problems than those that are more dense, they also have higher levels of land use and carbon emissions.
In fact, in many of the cities, the researchers found, there were fewer land use, land use pollution, and carbon footprints than those in dense urban areas.
“When it comes to the carbon footprint, cities that are denser and more connected to the surrounding land are the least polluting, most connected, and least polluted cities,” said Daniel Boorstin, senior economist at the London-based Carbon Tracker Initiative.
The authors of the report, however, caution that this is not a panacea, noting that urban cities are already having a big impact on global emissions.
“As cities become more interconnected, it’s going to be harder to manage emissions, which is going to have a negative impact on climate change,” Grazvenor said, “and we don’t yet have a good picture of how these cities are going to respond to this challenge.”