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43 cities score an A grade in new cities climate change ranking

-43 (7%) of cities score an ‘A’ in CDP’s first ranking of 596 cities’ action to cut emissions and set climate strategies
-Barcelona, London, Paris, Cape Town and Hong Kong receive CDP’s top ‘A’ score
-14 cities aim to be climate or carbon neutral by 2050 - including The Hague, Boston and Sydney.
-Five cities have city-wide 100% renewable energy targets - including Paris, San Francisco and Canberra - and one city (Reykjavík) has reached 100% already.


London  – WEBWIRE

 An ‘A List’ featuring 43 global cities has been released by environmental impact non-profit CDP at the start of EU Green Week.

Barcelona, London, Paris, Cape Town, Hong Kong and San Francisco are among the 7% of cities reporting to CDP that have received the top score for climate leadership and action.

Kyra Appleby, Global Director for Cities, States and Regions at CDP said: 
“The need for action on climate change has never been more urgent, as the latest report from the IPCC has warned. Cities house more than half of the world’s population and are responsible for over 70% of the world’s energy-related carbon emissions, so they could make or break efforts to tackle climate change.”

“Just 7% of cities who reported to CDP in 2018 received an A. We urge cities worldwide to step up their action, set targets in line with what the latest science says is needed to prevent dangerous climate change, and transparently share their progress.”

Over 625 cities reported through CDP’s environmental disclosure platform in 2018 (of which 596 were scored). They have been awarded an ‘A’ to ‘D-’ score based on how effectively they are managing, measuring and tackling greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate-related risks including water security.

Shirley Rodrigues, deputy mayor of environment and energy at the Greater London Authority said:

“London’s positive climate leadership ranking recognises the Mayor’s commitments to take action on the climate emergency we are facing. London was one of the first global cities to publish a 1.5 degree compatible plan, in line with the Paris Agreement, to put us on a pathway to zero-carbon. Sadiq will continue working towards making London zero-carbon, whilst lobbying Government to step up and take real action. Our London Climate Action Week in July will explore climate solutions that can help London achieve our carbon neutral goals rapidly.”

An ‘A’ score through CDP, which runs the global environmental reporting system for companies and subnational governments, means a city demonstrates strong climate adaptation and mitigation strategies, and consistently tracks its emissions. Leading action looks different around the world, depending on the size of the city, the size of its emissions, and its susceptibility to extreme weather events. Actions being taken by A List cities include:

  • London: introduced an ultra-low emissions zone on April 8, 2019, this sees drivers with older, more polluting cars paying more to drive in central London in a bid to clean up the city’s air.
  • Calgary: is building a new light rail system aptly named the Green Line, The first stage will be completed in 2026 and is expected cut 30,000 tonnes of CO2e from the city’s traffic emissions every year, the equivalent of taking more than 23,000 cars off the road each year.
  • The Hague: in its seaside resort of Scheveningen, the city has built a new waterfront boulevard. Invisible to the average citizen, a kilometre-long dike can be found beneath the boulevard, offering another layer of protection from coastal flooding.
  • Taipei: tackling drought is a top priority for the city which has fixed 2,200 water leaks saving 613,300 tonnes of water per year since 2015.

“Calgary has been a leader on climate action for over a decade now,” said Warren Brooke, Business Strategist at Calgary’s Climate Change Program. “We’ve been at the forefront across the province and the country, piloting strategies to reduce our emissions and increase our resilience. Making CDP’s A List in 2018 has been a great recognition of our work to date.”

All 43 cities on the A List have ambitious targets to cut emissions, with 14 cities aiming to be climate neutral or carbon neutral by 2050. Among these are Melbourne, Reykjavík and The Hague. Melbourne aims to be carbon neutral by 2020, Reykjavík by 2040 and The Hague by 2030.

Four cities on CDP’s cities A List (Canberra, Paris, Minneapolis and San Francisco) have a target to have all energy used in the city coming from renewable sources. Reykjavík has already achieved this target. By and large cities are at different stages when it comes to decarbonizing their energy grids. Paris, Minneapolis, and San Francisco source 35%, 24% and 59% of their energy respectively from renewable sources.

This is the first time CDP has released a list of cities awarded an A in a bid to drive up ambition in the face of the growing urgency of the climate challenge. The latest climate science from the IPCC shows the global economy needs to halve global emissions by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050 to have a good chance of keeping global temperatures within 1.5°C of warming.

Current national action plans are not on track for a 1.5°C pathway and would result in 3°C of warming, according to research by Carbon Tracker. This means the contribution of cities is more important than ever. Cities are responsible for over 70% of the world’s energy-related carbon emissions, so could make or break efforts to tackle climate change.

Every year, hundreds of cities report their climate data through CDP’s environmental disclosure platform and gain data-driven insights into gaps and opportunities for climate policy-development, resource and risk management and signal projects in need of investment. In doing so they demonstrate ambition, transparency and good governance. All publicly disclosed data is made available for free public use on CDP’s Open Data Portal.

“Across the world and the United States, cities are stepping up their ambition to reduce emissions, embrace renewables and adapt to risks exacerbated by climate change,” said Kelly Shultz, Director of the American Cities Climate Challenge at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “We are proud that six winners of Bloomberg’s American Cities Climate Challenge made CDP’s cities A List, demonstrating climate progress. The success of climate action relies on bold action from global cities and CDP’s cities A List highlights replicable actions already taking place in cities worldwide.”

ENDS

CDP’s Corporate Scoring
CDP has been releasing its Climate A List since 2011 and its Water and Forests A Lists since 2015 and 2016 respectively.

Carbon neutral vs. climate neutral
CDP’s take on carbon neutrality and climate neutrality follows the definitions in the IPCC SR1.5. Carbon neutrality and climate neutrality are similar but distinct concepts. Carbon neutrality focuses on anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases) all forms, not only CO2) to the atmosphere being balanced by anthropogenic removals over a specified period. Climate neutrality is a wider, more encompassing concept covering not only all GHG’s but also other climate impacts of human activity such as changes in surface albedo.

City Affiliations
Many of the cities on CDP’s A List are also members of C40, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Energy and Climate and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. For more detail each city’s affiliations, please see the data provided in the media pack.

About CDP
CDP is an international non-profit that drives companies and local and regional governments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard water resources and protect forests. Over 750 cities, states and regions disclosed data through CDP in 2018. This is in addition to the 7,000 companies who disclosed, making CDP’s platform one of the richest sources of information globally on how cities, subnational governments and companies are driving environmental change. Visit cdp.net/cities


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