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105 Cities recognized for climate leadership on CDP’s A list, with U.S. and Canada topping the list

New York, NY – WEBWIRE
  • CDP names 105 cities as leaders on climate action and transparency, more than double the number in 2019
  • North America leads with the most A List cities (41), with the U.S. and Canada topping the list with 34 and seven respectively
  • Ann Arbor, Calgary, Fayetteville, Flagstaff, Santa Monica, West Palm Beach and Windsor are among the North American cities on CDP’s A List
  • Cities on the A List are taking on over three times as many climate actions as others

105 cities from around the world including Calgary, Fayetteville, Santa Monica, West Palm Beach and Windsor have been named on CDP’s Cities A List for their transparency and action on climate change. North American cities were strongly represented on the list (39%), with the U.S. and Canada home to the most A List cities—34 and seven respectively.

Designed to push cities to ramp up their climate action and ambition, CDP’s scoring and A List are based on data reported by over 850 cities from across the globe—including 207 in North America—through the CDP-ICLEI Unified Reporting System in 2019.

Cities measure and report key environmental data including their emissions, climate-related vulnerabilities and actions to reduce emissions and adapt to risks. They are scored ‘A’ to ‘D’ based on the completeness and quality of their data and the level of action taken.

To score an A, a city must have a city-wide emissions inventory, have set an emissions reduction target, published a climate action plan and have completed a climate adaptation plan climate to demonstrate how it will tackle climate hazards now and in the future.

Analysis has shown that on average cities on the A List are taking over three times as many climate actions as non-A List cities—including five times as many actions to cut emissions and curb future warming and twice as many to adapt to current climate hazards, from flooding to extreme heatwaves.

“Climate change is here now. Forward-thinking local governments are acting immediately to protect their citizens and economies,” said Katie Walsh, Head of Cities, States and Regions, CDP North America. “I’m proud of the U.S. and Canadian cities that topped this year’s A List. These cities are exemplifying transparency around their environmental impact and taking action to fend off and prepare for the worst impacts of climate change. Others must follow their lead—disclosure is the first vital step, but it must be followed by the ambitious goal setting and strong climate action reflected by the cities on our 2019 A List.”

Examples of North American city climate leadership include:

  • Fayetteville, U.S.: One of 125 city signatories of the “We Are Still In” agreement, Fayetteville has committed to convert all facilities to 100% renewable energy by 2030 and reduce community-wide emissions by 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050.
  • West Palm Beach, U.S.: The city set an ambitious target of meeting net zero emissions by 2050. To reach this goal, it joined a coalition of 250 cities at the 2017 U.S. Conference of Mayors that pledged to 100% renewable energy use by 2035. The city is also adapting to and preparing for climate-related risks, having invested US$46 million toward improving the conditions of seawalls along its waterfront
  • Windsor, Canada: The urban heat island effect brought a near record-breaking heatwave to Windsor in 2018 and poses public health concerns that especially impact children—for example, leading to overheated playgrounds. Windsor is fitting playgrounds with features like misting stations, drinking fountains and tree planting to increase canopy cover and sequester carbon, thereby lowering city emissions.

“Oakland is proud to once again be on the CDP Cities A List,” said Daniel Hamilton, Sustainability Manager for the City of Oakland. “From pursuing sustainable infrastructure to expanding renewable energy in homes city-wide, we have made great strides in adaptation and resiliency by putting our residents at the heart of environmental decisions. Oakland knows environmental leadership and social equity must go hand-in-hand, and we’re happy to be among a cohort of other cities building a climate-safe future for all.”

In response to local and regional governments calling for a simpler reporting process, the CDP-ICLEI Unified Reporting System was launched in April 2019. The same year, over 850 cities disclosed, compared to 43 in 2011. This steep increase reflects the growing number of cities taking action to lead the transition to a low carbon, sustainable economy.

The full A List of cities is published here.

About CDP
CDP is a global non-profit that drives companies, cities and governments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard water resources and protect forests. Voted number one climate research provider by investors and working with institutional investors with assets of US$96 trillion, we leverage investor and buyer power to motivate companies to disclose and manage their environmental impacts. Over 8,400 companies with over 50% of global market capitalization disclosed environmental data through CDP in 2019. This is in addition to the over 920 cities, states and regions who disclosed, making CDP’s platform one of the richest sources of information globally on how companies and governments are driving environmental change. CDP, formerly Carbon Disclosure Project, is a founding member of the We Mean Business Coalition. 



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