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Almost three quarters of global GHG emissions are emitted on urban territories. Cities are therefore key to addressing and adapting to climate change by adopting a low-carbon, resilient economies. Many cities are leading - and so are many subnational governments - in cutting emissions and greening infrastructures. Photo ©Wyliepoon

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Website: Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance

Contact: johannapartin@usdn.org

Cities striving for carbon neutrality recognize that averting the worst impacts of climate change will require cutting GHG emissions by at least 80% by 2050. Because urban areas account for nearly three-quarters of humanity's emissions, reaching this goal will depend in large part on our ability to reimagine and reinvent cities in ways that promote economic prosperity, social equity, enhanced quality of life, and climate resilience.

About the initiative

The Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance (CNCA or “Alliance”) is a new collaboration of international cities committed to achieving aggressive long-term carbon reduction goals. The Alliance aims to address what it will take for leading international cities to achieve these deep emissions reductions and how they can work together to meet their respective goals more efficiently and effectively.

The Alliance was born in Copenhagen in June 2014 and launched by Mayors of 17 international cities across nine nations:

Berlin, Germany

Minneapolis MN, USA

Stockholm, Sweden

Boston MA, USA

New York City NY, USA

Sydney, Australia

Boulder CO, USA

Oslo, Norway

Vancouver, Canada

Copenhagen, Denmark

Portland OR, USA

Washington DC, USA

London, United Kingdom

San Francisco CA, USA

Yokohama, Japan

Melbourne, Australia

Seattle WA, USA

 

Course of action

These cities came together to share lessons in planning for and implementing deep carbon reductions and agreed upon opportunities to accelerate best practices through collaboration in the Alliance’s first year, including:

  • Developing Carbon Neutrality Planning Standards – Developing approaches, analysis, and tools to support carbon neutrality; standardizing measurement and verification methodologies for tracking progress.
  • Advancing “Transformative Change” in Key Urban Sectors – Sharing and implementing best practices for achieving “transformative” deep carbon reduction strategies in urban transportation, energy use, and waste systems.
  • Advocating for Policy Change – Identifying and advocating for policies at the state, regional, and federal levels to reduce emission sources not controlled directly by cities and engaging with other external stakeholders who are critical to cities’ success.
  • Speaking with a Common Voice – Helping CNCA cities demonstrate their leadership and communicate with a common voice.
  • Creating a CNCA “Innovation Fund” – Investing in high-potential, city-led projects that develop, test, implement, and amplify deep de-carbonization strategies and practices (currently funded at $500,000).
  • Increasing Alliance Impact – Sharing Alliance learnings with a broader audience to benefit the “next wave” of cities striving for carbon neutrality.

The Alliance is staffed by the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) in partnership with the Innovation Network for Communities (INC), and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40).

Source: http://usdn.org/public/Carbon-Neutral-Cities.html

Photo credit: Sigfrid Lundberg (Flickr)

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