Earth Day is an annual event that happens every 22nd of April. This year, the people behind Earth Day are pushing their "Green Cities Campaign" as a viable solution to the problems brought about by climate change.

Earth Day Network's Green Cities Campaign was first launched last year in an effort to promote sustainable urban development in cities around the world. The aim of the campaign is to help foster sustainable growth while making a concerted effort to reduce carbon emissions and a city's carbon footprint in general. 

With the worsening effects of climate change, climate experts and some global leaders are looking for practical and viable methods of helping cities transition into more sustainable and environmentally friendly frameworks. Since urban centers are major contributors to the global carbon footprint, many experts agree that cleaning up urban centers around the world can help curb the effects of climate change. The campaign advocates a three pronged approach to making green cities a reality.

The first part of the campaign focuses on energy. Large cities have insatiable appetites for energy and the average city dweller consumes considerably more energy than a person from less urbanized areas.

"Most of the world currently relies on outdated electric generation structures that are extremely inefficient and dirty," says the Earth Day Network. "To help cities become more sustainable, we need to redesign the current system, transition to renewable energy sources, and implement 21st century solutions."

The campaign's second focus deals with infrastructure. Compared to the average urban home, large buildings can have considerable effects on the environment. Office buildings and densely population residential towers have large carbon footprints and the campaign seeks to bring about a new generation of city buildings with a clear emphasis on sustainability and economic viability.

"Buildings account for nearly one third of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Through simple efficiency and design improvements to buildings we can reduce those emissions drastically," the network adds. "To realize that vision, cities need to update ordinances, switch to performance based building codes, and improve financing options."

The Green Cities Campaign also addresses the need for changes in the way people get around. Transportation is one of the leading contributors to air pollution spewing forth large amounts of carbon dioxide and other hazardous gasses into the Earth's atmosphere on a daily basis.

"Transportation is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, three quarters of which comes directly from road vehicles," the Earth Day Network says. "To reduce these emissions and the resulting smog, we need to improve standards, increase public transportation options, invest in alternative transportation, and improve city walkability and bikeability."

The Green Cities Campaign will continue to be an Earth Day priority in the coming years. Earth Day leaders say that their campaign will involve an international team of partners to help increase awareness about the need for greener, cleaner cities.

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