A rundown of the 88 cities around the world that are leading the way where environmental action and transparency are concerned has now been published, all of which have been commended for the steps they’re taking to reduce emissions and build climate change resistance.
Compiled by global environmental non-profit organisation CDP, the report revealed that, despite the pandemic and the pressures of dealing with coronavirus, 34 per cent of the cities are new to the A List this year.
It shows that major progress has been made since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015. In that year, just 61 per cent of the cities included in the 2020 A List disclosed their environmental data through CDP, while half failed to report greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.
Now, 100 per cent report their targets and 38 per cent aim to achieve net zero emissions by the year 2050 or earlier. New leaders added to the list include Newcastle, Louisville, Firenze and Municipalidad de Peñalolén in Chile.
Some 26 cities are now taking strides towards becoming powered by 100 per cent renewables come 2050 or earlier, while eight – including San Francisco, Stockholm and Copenhagen – have achieved 50 per cent or more of their targets.
In order to be awarded an A, cities have to have an emissions reduction target in place, have published a climate action plan, complete a climate risk and vulnerability assessment, have a city-wide emissions inventory and have a climate adaptation plan to show how it intends to tackle climate issues now and in the future, among other actions.
While praising the 88 cities in this year’s list, global director of cities, states and regions at CDP Kyra Appleby did say, however: “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.”
As well as reporting emissions reduction targets and setting net zero targets for 2050 or earlier, other action being taken by A List cities include tree planting, flood mapping, the creation of green spaces and community engagement and education.
Businesses can start doing their bit now to relieve pressure on the planet by investigating alternative water resources so they can reduce their reliance on mains water. Water stress and scarcity is a big global issue and water shortages will affect us all in the relatively near future, so doing all we can to find alternatives is becoming increasingly important.