Global Spotlight Report #39: Best Climate Practice Cities


For Post 39 we asked our Country Managers to propose a city that exemplifies best climate policy and practice within their countries. To be chosen, the city needed to have in place at least one of the three following goals and actions:

  1. Has a commitment and a climate plan in place to reduce its emissions by at least 50% by the year 2030.
  2. Has a commitment and a climate plan in place to reach net zero emissions by the year 2050.
  3. Has put in place at least 3 major policies/programs designed to reduce emissions over the next decade.

Our Country Managers submitted reports that describe the climate policies and programs that their cities targeted, including the goals of their policies and programs, the activities that will be put in place to meet these goals, how much the policies and programs cost, how they are being financed, and the level of emission reductions that their cities hope to achieve by 2030 and 2050.

Below is a list of nominated cities for 20 leading greenhouse gas emitting countries. The detailed Country Reports can be found below:

Country Best Climate Practice City
Australia Adelaide
Brazil Curitiba
Canada Toronto
China Shenzhen
European Union Lisbon
France Paris
Germany Berlin
India Delhi
Indonesia Jakarta
Italy Trento
Japan Yokohama City
Mexico Mexico City
Nigeria No nomination
Russia Moscow
Saudi Arabia King Abdullah University of Science And Technology
South Africa Cape Town
South Korea Incheon
Spain Totana
Ukraine Zhytomyr
United Kingdom Glasgow
United States Boston

Country Reports

Spotlight: the “Carbon Neutral Adelaide” initiative in Australia

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Australia Country Manager Julian AtchisonAdelaide, South Australia For a country renowned for its intransigence to climate action at a federal level, Australian state and local governments (councils) are taking very forward looking steps. In particular, councils in Australia’s biggest cities are leading the charge with huge reductions in…

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Curitiba: The Brazilian Capital Leading the Way for Climate Mitigation and Adaptation

By Climate Scorecard Brazil Country Manager Elis Cotosky In 2018, four major Brazilian capitals took a pledge to comply with the Paris Agreement, by developing climate action plans through the support of the C40’s Climate Action Planning Latin America Program. Among those cities, one that stands out is Curitiba, the capital of Parana State. In…

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Toronto: Canada’s Example of a Best Climate Practice City

This post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Canada Country Manager Diane Szoller In 2007, Toronto City Council unanimously adopted a climate action strategy and set the target of reducing emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. They unanimously reconfirmed the commitment in July 2017 and then adopted a short-term target of 30% emissions reduction…

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Spotlight: Shenzhen has Transformed to One of China’s Cities with the Lowest Air Pollution Rate

In 2010, the Chinese government designated Shenzhen, a city of about 13 million inhabitants in the south of China, to be among 11 provinces and cities to develop and pilot low-carbon solutions for industry, transport, renewable energy, construction, consumption and ecology. China’s government uses pilot projects to spur low-carbon urbanization, and designated locations must prepare…

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Spotlight Report: Lisbon Deemed 2020 European Green Capital: Exemplifies Commitment to Sustainable Development and Decreasing Emissions

This post was submitted by EU Country Manager Brittany DemogenesIn 2020, Lisbon was deemed the European Green Capital by the European Commission. The European Green Capital Award is an initiative of the European Commission that rewards cities who have committed to environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Lisbon has demonstrated its desire to create environmental change…

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Paris Greening the City of Light

Submitted by Climate Scorecard France Country Manager Stephanie TapolskyFrance’s most famous and populous city has been working to become sustainable since the mid 2000’s. Le Plan Climat de Paris was adopted in 2007 and targeted a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 per 2004 levels. Targets of a 25% reduction in energy consumption…

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Berlin Takes a Leading Role in Showing the Way to Climate Neutrality

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Germany Country Manager Zahi Badra In recent years, many German cities approved new action plans in order to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Among them is Germany’s largest city and capital, Berlin. As its plan stands in line of well structured, legally binding and research-backed plans of different…

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Delhi, Best Climate Practice City, Prepping to Go Green by 2030

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard India Country Manager Pooran Chandra PandeyDelhi, officially the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, is a city and a union territory of India containing New Delhi, the capital of India. Delhi’s urban area is now considered to extend beyond the NCT boundaries, and also include neighbouring satellite cities of Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurgaon, and Noida with an estimated 2016 population of over 26 million people,…

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Indonesia Spotlight: Jakarta Urban Regeneration Program

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Indonesia Country Manager Ruby OrimThe Jakarta Urban Regeneration Program is a plan initiated by Jakarta’s governor, Anies Baswedan, in 2019. The plan was built to address Jakarta’s sinking problems and popular environmental malpractices. The Urban Regeneration Plan consists of goals to restructure Jakarta’s pipe water infrastructure to make…

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Italy Spotlight: Trento Leads in Urban Sustainability

By Climate Scorecard Italy Country Manager Andrea BrunoIn Italy, as described in the graph below, the proportion of the population living in cities has increased progressively, reaching 70.74% in 2019 (World Bank, 2021). Along with the beneficial effects of urbanization, such as job creation and fostered economic growth, urbanization also has resulted in growing environmental pressures,…

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Japan Spotlight: Yokohama City

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Japan Country Manager Yun-Tzu Lin   Yokohama City is located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean with a population of approximately 3.7 million, the second biggest in Japan (“About…” 2021). In response to the global shift toward a carbon neutrality and abnormal weather…

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Mexico City Working to Reduce Emissions Through Mobility Sector Emission Reduction Plan and Solar City Project

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Mexico Country Manager Pablo David Porras Necoechea Mexico City and its surrounding metropolitan area have evolved into a megacity. Despite the tremendous social, economic, and environmental problems that challenge every sizeable urban region, Mexico City has set an example by working towards climate change. In 2015, it committed…

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Eko Atlantic City is all for show: Nigeria should invest in its megacities

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Nigeria Country Manager Peter HansenNigeria, one of the most polluted countries in the world, does not seem to be getting any greener. As a developing country, the focus of the government and its people is not generally on environmental protection, but more so on developing the economy enough…

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Russia Spotlight City: Moscow

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Russia Country Manager Michael Oshchepkov Even though Russia does not project an image of a country that is deeply concerned about climate change mitigation, there are a few cities which are actually worried about this problem. Of course, no other city in the country embodies these sentiments quite…

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King Abdullah University of Science and Technology: A Model Sustainable Mini-City

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Saudi Arabia Country Managers Abeer Abdulkareem and Amgad Ellaboudy   King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is a model of a mini-city that has climate-conscious plans and programs and has earned a Platinum rating on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) scale. KAUST is…

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The City of Cape Town VS Climate Change

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard South Africa Country Manager Andrew John HallThe City of Cape Town (CoCt), located in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, sets the standard for climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies; not only for South Africa, but for the African continent as a whole.  As a result of…

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Incheon: the eco-friendly city of the future in Republic of Korea

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard South Korea Country Manager Hatyja Nuriyeva   Incheon, the third largest city in South Korea, is emerging as a global city. Incheon is in pursuit of an eco-friendly transformation based on its Green New Deal Projects. Every public institution in Incheon launched recycling expansion and waste reduction campaigns…

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Climate Friendly Cities Spotlight: Totana, Spain

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Spain Country Manager Wendy ParedesIn the city of Totana in Spain, Enel Green Power Spain has connected an 85 MW photovoltaic solar plant to the grid, which has involved an investment of 59 million euros. The photovoltaic plant, made up of 248,000 modules, will be able to generate…

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Zhytomyr, Ukraine – A Climate-Neutral City By 2050

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Ukraine Country Manager Anastasiia Bushovska In Ukraine, there are 259 cities that signed the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, among which 161 pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2030. Some of these also pledged to reach 100% renewable energy threshold by 2050. Among those…

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Glasgow: Best Climate Practice City in the United Kingdom

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard UK Country Managers Thomas Christensen and Gwenyth Wren   Context In November 2021, Glasgow will be the host city of COP26, the fifth-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement, where world leaders will convene and aim to establish new, ambitious emissions reduction targets in the hope of staving off…

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Boston, MA: Best Climate Practice City in the United States

This post was submitted by United States Country Manager Nathan Holman Introduction Boston, Massachusetts has long been a leader on climate action among cities in the United States. As a member of the C40 Cities network (connecting some of the world’s most prominent cities around bold climate action goals), Boston has also garnered attention at…

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