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November 05, 2010
Carbon Disclosure Project Launches CDP Cities
    by Robert Kropp

The initiative asks 40 of the world's largest cities to measure and disclose greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change mitigation strategies.

With the statement, "The effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to dangerous climate change will be won or lost in cities," the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) recently announced the launch of CDP Cities. As it has done with the more than 3,000 corporations and other organizations from 60 countries that now report to it, the CDP has asked the world's 40 largest cities to measure and disclose their GHG emissions and climate change strategies.

report issued in conjunction with the launch provides the rationale for the initiative, stating that "Cities consume approximately 60–80% of the world’s energy production." Furthermore, the report continues, "Cities are also likely to be extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change."

In asking cities to report to it, CDP Cities describes several reasons for doing so, including the identification of GHG emission hot spots, providing a safe place for businesses to invest, and protection from climate change impacts. "The data will provide cities and other stakeholders with valuable insights into the strategies deployed by cities in relation to climate change," the CDP stated, "With the purpose of driving action and investment toward a low carbon economy."

CDP Cities grew out of a pilot program conducted in 2008 by the CDP and
ICLEI USA, in which 18 US cities measured and reported Scope 1 emissions (direct emissions) and Scope 2 emissions, which are associated with electricity production. The program found "that while cities were well placed to begin addressing the challenges of climate change, in most cases, action was at an early stage," underscoring the need for an initiative such as CDP Cities.

Already, some cities have responded with commitments to comply with the reporting requests of CDP Cities. Following the pilot program, Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York City, said, "The City of New York joins the world’s leading corporations in providing a complete, accurate accounting of its carbon emissions, the strategies it is employing to mitigate those emissions, and the results of its efforts through CDP."

"This partnership between the world’s major corporations and, increasingly, its cities, highlights the importance of the cooperative action needed to successfully counter climate change," Bloomberg continued.


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