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Which cities make the environmental action A-list for 2020?

CDP has named 88 global cities that are working to become resilient, healthy, and prosperous places to live and work while cutting emissions and rapidly building resilience against the climate crisis.

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The 2020 A List shows cities are also making headway on renewable energy targets
The 2020 A List shows cities are also making headway on renewable energy targets

Newcastle (United Kingdom), Louisville (US), Firenze, (Italy), and Municipalidad de Peñalolén (Chile) are the latest global cities to be included on the 2020 CDP Cities A List for leading on environment action and transparency.

 

Global environmental non-profit CDP named 88 global cities on its list that are working to become resilient, healthy, and prosperous places to live and work while cutting emissions and rapidly building resilience against the climate crisis. Other cities on the list include Bristol (UK), Miami (US), Cape Town (South Africa), Buenos Aires (Argentina), and Auckland (New Zealand).

 

Environmental data

 

Despite the pressures of tackling Covid-19, more than a third of cities (34 per cent) are new to this year’s list. Only three-fifths of cities (61 per cent) on this year’s list disclosed their environmental data through CDP in 2015, the year the Paris Agreement was announced.

 

CDP also found that in 2015, half of the cities on the 2020 A-list (44/88) did not report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets. Today, they all report targets with two-fifths (33/88) aim to reach net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier.

 

The US accounts for the highest number (25) of cities on the A-list, making up 28 per cent, despite the US pulling out of the Paris Agreement on 4 November 2020. US cities on the list include Park City, San Luis Obispo, and West Palm Beach.

“They are building resilient, healthy, and prosperous places to live and work while reinforcing their commitment to the Paris Agreement”

The 2020 A list cities are also making headway on renewable energy targets, with 26 cities working to be powered by 100 per cent renewables by 2050 or earlier. Eight cities, including Copenhagen, Stockholm and San Francisco have achieved half or more of their targets.

 

To score an A, a city must disclose publicly and have a city-wide emissions inventory, have set an emissions reduction target, published a climate action plan. Cities must also complete a climate risk and vulnerability assessment and have completed a climate adaptation plan to demonstrate how it will tackle climate hazards now and, in the future, among other actions.

 

Progress made

 

CDP reports cities have also made progress on building resilience to climate change. In 2015, only 30 per cent of the 2020 A-list cities reported having an adaptation plan. Actions taken by these cities include community engagement and education, tree planting and creation of green space, and flood mapping.

 

“We commend the 88 cities on the CDP Cities A-list for their transparency and action to build resilience against climate change and cut emissions. They are building resilient, healthy, and prosperous places to live and work while reinforcing their commitment to the Paris Agreement,” said Kyra Appleby, global director of cities, states and regions at CDP.

 

“However, the science is clear – we categorically must halve global emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050 to limit the impacts of the climate crisis. The world is still in the midst of a public health crisis, but environmental action cannot slow down. The cities on the 2020 A list demonstrate resilience and ambition, and we congratulate them for their leadership in tackling climate change.”

 

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