France: Model Community Climate Mitigation Programs

Strasbourg, with a current metro area population of 484,000, is the capital city of the Grand Est region in northeastern France and is commonly described as France’s most sustainable city.

Strasbourg has implemented several sustainability measures to promote environmental conservation and reduce its carbon footprint, including:

  1. Green transportation: Strasbourg’s public transportation system reduces reliance on cars through the use of an electrically powered tram network, extensive bicycle-friendly infrastructure, pedestrian-friendly zones, low-emission hybrid and electric buses, park-and-ride facilities on the outskirts of the city encouraging commuters to park their cars and use public transportation for the remainder of their journey, and an integrated ticketing system that allows passengers to use a single ticket for various modes of public transportation.
  2. Renewable energy: Strasbourg has significantly invested in renewable energy sources such as deep geothermal energy, biomass, heat pumps and hydropower. Strasbourg aims to have 100% renewable energy by 2050.
  3. Waste reduction and recycling: The city has implemented initiatives to reduce waste generation and promote recycling. The city has implemented a “zero rubbish/zero waste” initiative to reduce its waste to less than 7% by encouraging composting and proper waste management.
  4. Green spaces and urban planning: Strasbourg has prioritized creating and preserving green spaces within the city, making it one of France’s greenest cities. Urban planning initiatives focus on sustainable development and integrating nature into the urban landscape to connect “biodiversity and solidarity, plants and citizenship.
  5. SDG Budget Mapping: Since 2019, Strasbourg has made the city’s budget a lever for transformation by mapping its provisional budgets to the SDGs to increase the impact of each investment. For example, investments by the Sports Department significantly impact Strasbourg’s progress towards the SDGs, particularly those related to climate change. The Sports Department is responsible for a wide range of infrastructures, such as pools, playgrounds, and sports buildings, which are sometimes sold with inefficient energy consumption.

These initiatives demonstrate Strasbourg’s commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship and are replicated in cities throughout France, such as Angers, Nantes, Grenoble, Bordeaux and Rennes. Many of these cities and a growing number of communities in France are pursuing climate mitigation activities such as expanding public transport, green spaces, sustainable urban development, and renewable energy sources. In particular, other French cities can replicate Strasbourg’s city playbook for advancing the SDGs through budget mapping by contacting Yves Zimmerman, Project Director, for European Green Capital at the City and Eurometropole of Strasbourg.


This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard France Manager Liana Mehring


Works Cited

Three of the Most Eco-Friendly Cities – SNCF Connect, Accessed 14 Dec. 2023.

“Strasbourg, France Metro Area Population 1950-2023.” MacroTrends,,a%200.63%25%20increase%20from%202020. Accessed 14 Dec. 2023.

GeoEnergy, Think. “City of Strasbourg Pushing a Green Revolution with Geothermal as Large Part of It.” Think GeoEnergy – Geothermal Energy News, 7 Aug. 2018,

“Which Are France’s Greenest Cities??” Which Are France’s Greenest Cities?? | Paysalia 2023, Accessed 14 Dec. 2023.

How Strasbourg Links Its Budget to the Sdgs – Brookings, Accessed 14 Dec. 2023.


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