C40 partner, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) today released Measurement for Management CDP Cities 2012 Global Report, which presents a global snapshot of the activities, challenges and opportunities facing cities as a result of climate change. It is based on the carbon and water strategies and actions disclosed to CDP by 73 cities spanning the globe. An engaging interactive online infographic shows what cities are doing to combat global climate change. 

The special focus on C40 Cities within the report supports the theory of the “network effect,” with C40 cities demonstrating an advanced and improving approach to climate change management. C40 Cities led the way in emissions assessment and reporting, helping to launch CDP’s cities program last year with the publication of its inaugural report. 

The number of C40 Cities responding has increased this year, as has the percentage of cities reporting city-wide emissions inventories (as opposed to local government operations emissions only), which has jumped from 67% to 78%. This year also showed a rise in C40 Cities setting emissions reduction targets from 62% in 2011 to 71%. Cities reporting emissions reductions targets for the first time include Bogotá and Changwon.

C40 Chair, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says: “This report provides definitive data showing that cities are taking action to address global climate change. Cities' ability to act - especially in the absence of strong international agreements - presents a compelling argument for improving local access to funding from national governments and international bodies. The actions that cities are taking locally are the best hope we have for fighting climate change globally.” 

The report also found that 84% of the C40 Cities expect economic benefits as a result of their climate change action. For example:

  • Los Angeles has a special focus on promoting clean technology and has established a reclaimed rail yard for clean tech start-ups and expansions. The city has also implemented a number of green schemes such as waste-to-energy and digester gas utilization projects.
  • London expects that to deliver its 60% carbon reduction target will result in the creation of 200,000 green jobs by 2025 from opportunities such as those arising from its energy retrofitting, waste and decentralizing energy aspirations.
  • Yokohama has big plans for new industries and is creating new supply chains around the concept of cooperation on green initiatives in the city. This effort is bringing together energy-saving design and planning, electrical vehicles and photovoltaic power generation while at the same time supporting local manufacturers of these environmental technologies and products.

“Cities are major players in the fight against dangerous climate change. The 73 contained in our latest report account for nearly 1 billion tons of CO2e, roughly equivalent to the total emissions of Brazil and Canada combined. These cities are hubs of innovation and effective units for managing emissions reductions; increasing their access to climate finance could help achieve the gigaton-scale solutions required,” said Conor Riffle, head of CDP’s cities program

For additional information, please read the CDP report and press release.