Cities globally to report on their carbon emissions

2 Nov 2010

The Carbon Disclosure Project has launched the CDP Cities program, a system for global cities to report on their greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related strategies.

CDP Cities, in partnership with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) and the Clinton Climate initiative (CCI) is urging the largest cities in the world to voluntarily measure and report to the CDP so they can manage risks and reduce their carbon outputs. 

So far, London, Toronto and New York have agreed to report their carbon emissions data to CDP.

C40 group

The C40 is a group of the world’s largest cities committed to tackling climate change and comprises Addis Ababa, Athens, Bangkok, Beijing, Berlin, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Caracas, Chicago, Delhi, Dhaka, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Houston, Istanbul, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Karachi, Lagos, Lima, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Melbourne, Mexico City, Moscow, Mumbai, New York City, Paris, Philadelphia, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Toronto, Tokyo and Warsaw.

The C40 also has 19 affiliate cities: Amsterdam, Austin, Barcelona, Basel, Changwon, Copenhagen, Curitiba, Heidelberg, Ho Chi Minh City, Milan, New Orleans, Portland, Rotterdam, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Santiago de Chile, Seattle, Stockholm and Yokohama.

The CDP Cities initiative is an expansion of CDP’s global climate change data system developed with Accenture, Microsoft and SAP. This same CDP disclosure process was used in a 2008 pilot of 18 cities in the US.

Collating climate change data

CDP Cities will allow cities to report both quantitative and qualitative climate change data. Cities can report their greenhouse gas inventories along with contextual information about their unique characteristics.

Organisations such as Autodesk, lead sponsor of CDP Cities, as well as Microsoft and Sun Life Financial, are supporting the initiative. 

Speaking at the CDP announcement, David Miller, mayor of Toronto and chair of C40, said: “Cities play an essential and leading role in accelerating solutions to climate change and C40 cities are already making a massive impact. CDP will provide a reporting platform that allows C40 cities to track their progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and share that critical data with each other and around the globe.”

Jay Bhatt, senior vice-president of AEC solutions at Autodesk, added: “The cities of tomorrow are being shaped today by governments, businesses and citizens. To create cities that support a better quality of life while minimising environmental impact, today’s designers need a clear picture of the impact of climate change,” he said.

Greener cities

CDP Cities has also released a report entitled The Case for City Disclosure, written by Accenture. It details how standard disclosure from local governments can help cities share best practice, manage risk, increase operational effectiveness and cost savings, attract investment, foster innovation and, ultimately, lead to safer, more prosperous cities.

“CDP has long been a key system through which businesses can evaluate their ability to tackle climate change,” said CDP’s executive chairman Paul Dickinson.

“With cities at the forefront of our global response to climate change, it is critical that they have access to the same proven process which can help them to reduce carbon, improve operational efficiency, attract investment and increase clean tech innovations.”

For further information on CDP in Ireland click here.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic