Ninety-five cities including London, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Tokyo, and Sydney have received the highest score for climate action from non-profit CDP, based on its global environmental disclosure system.
To score an A, cities must have a city-wide emissions inventory and disclose it publicly, have set an ambitious emissions reduction target and a renewable energy target for the future, and have published a climate action plan. They must also have completed a climate risk and vulnerability assessment and have a climate adaptation plan to demonstrate how they will tackle climate hazards.
The analysis finds that A List cities report twice as many climate mitigation and adaptation measures as non-A Listers and 81 percent of A List cities are collaborating with businesses.
The cities represent a combined population of 108 million but that is just 2.6 percent of the estimated 4.2 billion people who live in the world’s cities. CDP said this highlights the urgent need for more cities to raise their climate ambition.
A “new generation” of cities
Kyra Appleby, CDP Global Director of Cities, States and Regions, commented: “A new generation of climate conscious cities is showing what is possible when action replaces words – implementing innovative solutions to cut emissions and adapt to climate change, and demonstrating determined leadership on the defining issue of our time.
“The A List also shows the value of reporting environmental data – what gets measured gets managed – and there is clear momentum building here with over 1,000 cities reporting in 2021. As COP26 has made crystal clear though, there needs to be a paradigm shift in action to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
“We hope the example of A List cities’ efforts and actions will encourage far greater numbers of cities to ramp up their climate ambition, and work together with government and business, to safeguard our planet for generations to come.”
Almost half of the cities are new to the A list, which is in its fourth edition.
North America accounts for the largest share of cities (41) on the 2021 A List, followed by Europe (37), Asia (8), Latin America (4), Oceania (4) and Africa (1). The USA has the most A List cities at 34, while the UK saw the largest growth, from four cities listed in 2020 to 11 this year.
However, CDP noted a “marked absence” of cities from mainland China, India, and Russia, which, alongside the US, are among the world’s top emitters.
This year, 965 cities received a score from CDP, up from 591in 2020. CDP said this increase is due to a range of factors, from more cities reporting after the pandemic to nearly 200 new Japanese cities reporting, due to a strategic collaboration between CDP and the Japanese Ministry of the Environment.
In 2021, 9.8 percent of cities scored received an A (95 out of 965), compared to 14.9 percent of cities in 2020 (88 out of 591).
“To reflect the level of ambition needed to achieve 1.5°C targets, the bar for entry to the A List has been raised,” CDP said.
Image: Markus Spiske on Unsplash
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