Over the last year, the number of cities around the world now sharing their current actions towards combatting climate change with the CDP has grown by 70% compared to 2015 levels. This increase in transparency has seen 90% of C40 cities across the world now reporting this data in 2016.

Increased awareness of the risks of climate change has resulted in a vast number of cities recording their greenhouse emissions in order to further understand their climate impact. In 2011, one in ten cities were disclosing information. As of 2016, this number has increased to four in ten.

The new Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Patricia Espinosa says: “This is welcome and encouraging news as governments continue to ratify the Paris Climate Change Agreement and work to implement it in full.  On NAZCA, the UNFCCC’s online climate action portal, many cities have registered their climate action pledges and are blazing an ambitious trail.”

“When cities measure their climate footprint and seek a sustainable path to green growth powered by clean energy, they take us all further towards the global transition to low emissions and resilient development. I also commend CDP for its role as a key provider of data to the NAZCA portal. I congratulate cities taking action and encourage everyone to use NAZCA to showcase their climate commitments.”

Regional round-up

Since the Paris climate conference took place last year, the area that has seen the biggest increase in reporting occurs across African cities, which has seen a fourfold increase from 12 to 46. Europe has seen an 83% increase, breaking down into 126 cities across 32 different countries, while, North America has also see a large increase, with 72% more cities sharing data with the CDP and 28 of the top 30 US cities with the largest population now contributing, representing 38 million people.

Latin America saw a 66% increase in city disclosure, resulting in 136 cities providing data this year, more than half of which are in Brazil. Finally, Asia-Pacific saw an increase of nearly a third over last year, now including cities such as Kuala Lumpur and Guangzhou.

Many cities have been taking responsibility for changing the role they play in impacting the environment. For example, UK and US cities are transitioning to smart city technologies in order to provide a sustainable infrastructure to deal with continuous expansion and economic growth.

In the wake of COP21, cities around the world are now implementing vast emission reduction plans. In the US, there has been efforts from multiple cities to crackdown on emissions. San Francisco has now completely cut off the use of diesel from its city fleets, replacing it with a renewable diesel alternative. Additionally, San Diego has implemented a carbon reduction plan which will eventually see emissions cut by half by 2035 and have all its electricity be supplied from renewable sources.

London remains at the forefront of the UK’s effort to transition to a more sustainable city environment, with London Mayor Sadiq Khan planning to implement a number of green changes to the city. With his ultimate aim of having London run on purely green energy by 2050, khan has laid out a vast array of sustainable promises in his campaign, including to provide more electric buses, plant two million trees and expand the city’s ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ).

Alex Baldwin

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