CDP cities
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105 cities around the world including Mexico City, Cape Town, Los Angeles, Iskandar and Leicester have been named on CDP’s report, Cities A List, for their transparency and action on climate change.

Designed to push cities to ramp up their climate action and ambition, CDP’s scoring and A-List is based on data reported by over 850 cities through the CDP-ICLEI Unified Reporting System in 2019.

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Cities measure and report key environmental data like their emissions, climate-related vulnerabilities, and actions to reduce emissions and adapt to risks. They are scored ‘A’ to ‘D’ – based on 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 among other actions.

Analysis has shown that on average cities on the A-List are taking over 3 times as many climate actions as non-A List cities. This represents 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.

Kyra Appleby, the global director of cities, states and regions at CDP, said: “Climate science leaves no doubt that global emissions must be halved by 2030 to limit the effects of the global climate crisis. Cities play a crucial role in meeting this challenge: covering just 2% of the earth’s surface, they are the source of 70% of emissions.”

Examples of city climate leadership

  • Greater Manchester, UK: The city set the target to become carbon neutral by 2038 – 12 years ahead of the UK Government. A target that demands annual emissions reductions of 15%. The city is working to add at least an extra 45MW of locally generated and renewable electricity to the grid by 2024.
  • eThekwini, South Africa: The city aims for 40% of electricity consumption to be met by renewables by 2030. It will also ensure that 70% of private electricity demand is supplied by self-generated renewable energy by 2050. To make this technology accessible, eThekwini has launched a number of solar energy and energy efficiency programmes, such as a GIS-based solar map and framework, which will enable users to plan rooftop installations. Additionally, the city is poised to enact a by-law requiring buildings to be retrofitted with energy-efficient technologies by 2030, and all new buildings to be net-zero carbon by 2030.
  • Petaling Jaya, Malaysia: In 2011 the city of Petaling Jaya launched a low carbon tax assessment scheme that provides tax rebates to residents that undertake low carbon building retrofit measures and make more sustainable lifestyle choices such as ownership of hybrid/electric vehicles. Since its inception, the project has achieved estimated emissions reductions of 200tCO2e per annum. The only local council in Asia to launch such an incentive for homeowners, the Petaling Jaya Homeowners Low Carbon and Green Initiative has waived RM414,380 ($101,700) for 1,240 households in the city up to 2018.
  • Fayetteville, US: 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 emissions 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050.

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.

Appleby added: “These 105 cities are setting an example for the level of transparency and action we need from cities worldwide. We call on cities across the globe to share their climate actions and strategies through the CDP-ICLEI Unified Reporting System, and work to join the ranks of the A-List.”

The full A-List of cities is published here.