According to this new report "Seven Climate Change Lessons from the Cities of Europe," 22 European cities and local governments reported their emissions, strategies, risks and opportunities regarding climate change to CDP this year. Of these, 86 percent have set a city-wide reduction target, compared to the global average of 70 percent. Two-thirds of reporting European cities engaged with their suppliers on climate change, compared to 47 percent across all regional groupings of cities reporting to CDP in 2012.
“European cities are demonstrating leadership and best practice in managing climate change at the local level,” said Conor Riffle, Head of CDP’s cities program. “The report shows that other cities can benefit by implementing similar strategies, like annual measurement and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions.”
“Measuring climate change risks and performance goes beyond environmental stewardship,” said Bruno Berthon, managing director, Accenture Sustainability Services. “Transparent disclosure enables authorities to lower risks and associated insurance costs, and helps to demonstrate to investors and decision makers the relative appeal of their city in a competitive world in which talent and capital have choices as to where they locate.”
As well as target setting, the report identifies and examines six other key areas where European cities are demonstrating best practice to manage climate change including:
- Annual measurement of emissions: European cities are moving toward measuring and reporting on city-wide emissions annually, using the best practice of annual benchmarking that large listed companies around the world follow. Fifty percent say they are now measuring city-wide emissions annually.
- Reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: One of the key goals of climate action is for a city to demonstrate year-on-year emissions reductions at a city-wide level. Two European cities show GHG reductions from their last CDP response—London and Copenhagen.
- Completing risk assessments: Climate change risk assessment has become mainstream in Europe. Seventeen participating cities (77 percent) have completed or are in the process of completing risk assessments to understand how climate change will affect their local jurisdictions. These efforts reveal that 18 of the 22 European cities face significant risks arising from climate change and 54 percent categorize these risks as severe or very severe. Furthermore, as revealed by the CDP Global Cities Report released on 7th June, 16 of the 22 European cities say they are facing risks related to frequent or intense rainfall and the same proportion reports temperature rises or heatwaves.
- Developing an adaptation plan: Once the risks have been identified, cities are moving to establish action plans to adapt. Fourteen cities (64 percent) report that they have an adaptation plan, and two additional cities are in the process of developing these plans.
- Using sustainability to drive competitiveness: European cities show a growing awareness of the economic opportunity from climate change. Thirteen cities (59%) anticipate that addressing climate change will lead to development of new business industries in their cities.
- Extending the city’s reach through voluntary agreements with the private sector: A small number of leading cities – including Berlin and Helsinki—are utilizing voluntary agreements with local businesses to further their cities’ climate protection goals.
Ajuntament de Barcelona, Ayuntamiento de Madrid, Basel-Stadt, City of Amsterdam, City of Berlin, City of Copenhagen, City of Helsinki, City of Paris, City of Stockholm, City of Warsaw, Comune di Milano, Comune di Oristano, Dublin City Council, Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Gemeente Rotterdam, Greater London Authority, Greater Manchester, ?stanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Moscow Government, Riga City, Roma Capitale, Village of Kadiovacik.
The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is an independent not-for-profit organization providing a transformative global system for companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage and share climate change and water information. Over 3,700 organizations across the world’s largest economies now report their greenhouse gas emissions and assessment of climate change risk and opportunity through CDP, in order that they can set reduction targets and make performance improvements. CDP now holds the largest collection globally of self-reported climate change data. For more information visit www.cdproject.net.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 246,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$25.5 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2011. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
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