What does it take to be a leading city?
Reposted from CDP’s blog.
Congratulations to Cascais, Cleveland, Edmonton, Goiania, Johannesburg, Las Vegas, Paris, Sydney, Venice, and Yokohama! Out of over 200 cities that took part in CDP’s cities program in 2014, these ten score the best for the quality and completeness of their environmental risk reporting. To highlight their achievement, CDP has created in-depth InFocus reports for each city.
In addition to congratulating these cities, it is also important to examine what made them top-performing cities in 2014. What common climate actions are these cities taking? What type of data do they report?
Using CDP’s data portal, we can take a deeper look into their activities. In general, these cities report complete and accurate data across all themes, including city-wide greenhouse gas emissions, risk and opportunities, and climate strategy. Let’s look in-depth at greenhouse gas emissions and efforts to reduce them.
Measuring city-wide emissions
All of our top cities measure and report the total city-wide emissions for their municipalities. Most of these inventories are recent — Johannesburg completed its most recent inventory in 2013, while every other city in the top ten completed their inventories after 2010, with the exception of Venice, Paris, and Sydney.
Cities also report why their emissions increased or decreased since last year. Here, the challenges of managing emissions at the city-level become apparent. The City of Edmonton, which noted a slight increase from its last inventory, explained that a drop in residential natural gas consumption was likely related to weather changes, while the reason for an increase in its industrial emissions was unclear. Changes in the electricity mix of the grid after the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake drove Yokohama’s slight increase in emissions. Even for these leading cities, managing emissions at the city-level is a difficult job.
Emissions reduction actions
This data set shows the incredible scope of activity that these ten cities are taking to cut emissions. Las Vegas reports 22 individual emissions reduction actions, including a project to deploy smart energy meters to residential buildings. Paris, which reports 27 emissions reductions activities, has also calculated the total project emissions reduction over lifetime associated with each project – as do the likes of Cascais and Cleveland. Cleveland reports the largest single emissions reduction, from a suite of energy efficiency retrofit measures for residential and commercial buildings, which will save the city over 2 million metric tons of CO2e over the lifetime of these projects.
Find out more about how each top-performing city is tackling climate change in their InFocus reports:
You can explore more data from these top-performing cities on climate risks and opportunities, target setting, and more on our open data portal.
Kyra Appleby is the head of CDP’s cities program.