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Worldwide Increase In Cities Disclosing Climate Strategies “Unprecedented”

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The number of cities worldwide which have disclosed climate action has surged to “unprecedented” levels, according to the Climate Disclosure Project.

According to new figures from the non-profit CDP, 533 cities representing 621 million people disclosed their climate strategies, a rise of 70% from 2015. CDP further highlighted the “nearly four-fold” increase in the number of cities throughout Africa which are disclosing climate information to CDP, rising from 12 to 46 since December last year, when the Paris Agreement was confirmed.

“Climate change poses a serious threat to the wealth and wellbeing of our city,” said Lorna Omuodo, Chief Officer, Green Energy and Climate Change from the City of Kisumu in Kenya, which disclosed its environmental data and climate strategies for the first time this year. “Delaying action will be costly, which is why we are taking steps now to ensure we build resilience in Kisumu. CDP is the best initiative on climate change I have seen in a long time because it is focused on practical actions.”

Kisumu is one of several African cities — along with Accra and Mazabuka — which reported their climate data and strategies for the first time this year, in an attempt to increase the levels of support they have access to.

“This is welcome and encouraging news as governments continue to ratify the Paris Climate Change Agreement and work to implement it in full,” said Patricia Espinosa, the new Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC. “On NAZCA, the UNFCCC’s online climate action portal, many cities have registered their climate action pledges and are blazing an ambitious trail.”

“When cities measure their climate footprint and seek a sustainable path to green growth powered by clean energy, they take us all further towards the global transition to low emissions and resilient development. I also commend CDP for its role as a key provider of data to the NAZCA portal. I congratulate cities taking action and encourage everyone to use NAZCA to showcase their climate commitments.”

Further highlights from CDP’s most recent statistics include:

  • Europe has had an 83% increase in cities reporting, to 126 across 32 countries. Many cities across Eastern Europe are reporting for the first time.
  • In North America there has been a 72% increase to 131 cities using CDP’s disclosure platform. Twenty-eight of the top 30 US cities by population now disclose to CDP, representing 38 million people. Disclosure by Canadian cities doubled in 2016 aided by a commitment from Canadian Big City Mayors to disclose to CDP as part of efforts to cut emissions.
  • Latin America saw a 66% increase in cities disclosing, with 136 cities sharing data this year. Over half of these cities are in Brazil, including hosts of this year’s Olympics, Rio de Janeiro, which is disclosing for the fifth time through CDP.
  • The Asia-Pacific region has seen a rise of nearly a third since 2015 and includes first-time disclosers such as Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s largest city, Guangzhou, one of China’s most populous cities, and Bangalore and Kolkata.

“We are thrilled to have so many new cities, in particular from the developing world, share their climate strategies through CDP for the first time,” said Paul Dickinson, executive chairman of CDP. “Disclosing environmental information fuels awareness that in turn helps city leaders plan, finance and build low-carbon resilient cities. You cannot manage what you do not measure, and this year city leaders around the world are sending a clear message that they are ready and able to take on the global climate challenge.”

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