Global Spotlight Report #70: Model Community Climate Mitigation Programs


For Post 70 we asked our Country Managers to identify and describe a local community in their country that supports best climate mitigation policies and practices. The communities should have  one or more of the following characteristics:

(a) an ongoing effort to reduce emissions in important sectors including – energy, transportation, and waste management;
(b) an ongoing program that addresses land conservation and/or forest sequestration;
(c) information and/or data that has been used to monitor changes in the community’s greenhouse gas emissions;
(d) organizations, such as government agencies, private businesses, or NGOs that are actively involved in mitigating climate change.

Our Country Managers were asked to describe past, present, and planned climate mitigation activities of their model community, the reasons why it was selected to be a model program for their country, and its potential for replicating the community’s efforts in other communities.

The Table below identifies the names of the model communities being proposed for each country. Complete Country Reports follow:

Table: Model Communities by Country

Country Model Communities by Country
  • Hepburn Shire
  • Curtiba
  • Ottawa
  • Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA)
European Union
  • Lahti (Finland)
  • Strasbourg
  • Munster
  • Kochi
  • Rural communities in West Kalimantan
  • Toyama City
  • San Pedro Tlaquepaque, Jalisco
  • The Bumaji Clan
Saudi Arabia
  • Neom
South Africa
  • Kwazulu-Natal Province
  • Vitoria-Gasteiz
  • Seferihisar
United Kingdom
  • Guildford
United States
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan

Country Reports

Australia: Model Community Climate Mitigation Programs

Hepburn Shire Hepburn Z-NET is a community partnership project to transition Hepburn Shire in Victoria, Australia, the first zero-net emission shire (local council) in Australia. The Shire encompasses the land of the Dja Dja Wurrung people, covers around 1,473 square kilometres to the northeast of Melbourne, and includes 13 towns and villages, with a combined…

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Brazil: Model Community Climate Mitigation Programs

CURITIBACuritiba is the most sustainable city in Latin America and the 14th in the world—the Sustainable Cities ranking published by the Canadian magazine Corporate Knights in 2022 points out this. Corporate Knights measures the environmental sustainability performance of 50 cities around the world. It is an international reference in studies on sustainability and corporate social…

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Canada: Model Community Climate Mitigation Programs

OTTAWA Canada’s Climate Atlas affirms over 80% of Canadians live in cities and towns. This dense concentration of people, government, business, infrastructure, and economic resources makes cities a powerful source of resilience and resourcefulness in taking action on climate change. A mid-size Canadian city that stands out for climate action is Ottawa. Their plan and…

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China: Model Community Climate Mitigation Programs

Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA)   The Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area – short TEDA – is a 440,000 m2 area between Tianjin City and the adjacent coast, housing some 600,000 inhabitants, comprising 10,000 industrial companies, more than 1,000 manufacturing companies, hospitals, high schools, etc. It was established in 1984 as one of China’s earliest national-level…

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Lahti: An EU Leader in Emissions Reduction and Citizen Environmental Engagement

Lahti, a city in Finland currently estimated to have a population of 120,000, was awarded the European Green Capital Award in 2021 and has continued to pioneer in emissions reduction and environmental action. The European Green Capital Award was created in 2010 and is awarded to one city each year that sets an example for…

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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: Green transportation: Strasbourg’s public transportation system reduces reliance on cars…

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Germany: Model Community Climate Mitigation Programs

Munster Germany has advanced mitigation programs at the local and country levels. Few specific medium-sized cities have long-developed mitigation programs and policies. However, there is one that not only developed early on but has also developed a well-developed adaptation plan as well, and hence is my chosen one to be portrayed:Münster is a middle-sized city…

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India: Model Community Climate Mitigation Programs

Kochi Kawaki is a strategic urban greening program that follows a well-planned and implemented methodology, where feasible open spaces for tree-based interventions are identified with the support of the local community through tools like mapathons. For example, in the city of Kochi in Southern India, available spaces in clusters and along roads, waterways and property…

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Indonesia: Model Community Climate Mitigation Programs

Community-based model in partnership with an NGO In partnership with a local NGO named Yayasan Planet Indonesia, the rural communities in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, have adopted conservation practices to protect at-risk ecosystems. The NGO creates village-led partnerships to support ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) by instituting community governance structures (Conservation Cooperatives) that enable access to financial and…

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Toyama City: A Model of Sustainability in Japan’s Climate Change Strategy

In the heart of Japan, Toyama City stands as a shining example of sustainable urban development. With a population of 406,900 in October 2023 (Toyama City Homepage), this city, nestled between the Tateyama Mountain Range and the Sea of Japan, is at the forefront of combating climate change through innovative and effective strategies. Zero Carbon…

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Mexico: Model Community Climate Mitigation Programs

SAN PEDRO TLAQUEPAQUE, JALISCO San Pedro Tlaquepaque, a municipality in the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area of Jalisco, Mexico, with a population of approximately 160,000, stands out as a local community actively engaged in climate mitigation efforts. The city has implemented various initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable practices across various sectors. Energy Sector…

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Nigeria: Model Community Climate Mitigation Programs

The Bumaji ClanThe Bumaji Clan, nestled within the expansive Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State, Nigeria, emerges as a beacon of exemplary climate change mitigation practices. In the broader context, the Boki Local Government Area is home to approximately 300,000 residents, making it a significant demographic entity in the region.The Bumaji Clan’s initiatives…

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Saudi Arabia: Model Community Climate Mitigation Programs

NEOM An example of an exemplary community in Saudi Arabia that has shown a commitment to climate mitigation is the city of Neom. Planned as a part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, Neom is a high-profile development project that aims to be a model of sustainability and advanced technology. While it’s still under development, its…

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South Africa: Model Community Climate Mitigation Programs

The Province of KwaZulu-Natal The highly populated province of KwaZulu-Natal has challenges such as water scarcity, inadequate river catchment and pollution from informal settlements. Due to the urgency of addressing these issues, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) stepped up and initiated the Transformative Riverine Management Program (TRMP). The main…

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Spain: Model Community Climate Mitigation Programs

Vitoria-Gasteiz THE COMMUNITY VITORIA-GASTEIZ (VG) is a community in Alava province with 253.093 citizens and 280 km2. VG is an industrial area in the north of Spain that is making efforts to mitigate climate change. They live in a high-risk area for climate change hazards. According to high-resolution climate scenarios, temperatures in VG are expected…

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Turkey: Model Community Climate Mitigation Programs

SEFERIHISAR Seferihisar is a small town on the western coast of Turkey, situated just 50 km from Izmir, a captivating district that boasts the title of “Cittaslow”. Cittaslow is an organisation founded in Italy and was initially inspired by the slow food movement. Cittaslow’s goals include improving the quality of life in towns by slowing…

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UK: Model Community Climate Mitigation Programs

Guildford   In the UK, community-led initiatives focused on town-level climate mitigation are becoming increasingly prominent, aligning with the pursuit of net-zero targets. A noteworthy example is Zero Carbon Guildford, aiming to guide Guildford, a town in west Surrey with around 150,000 residents, towards carbon neutrality by 2030 through a people-centred climate action plan.Origins of…

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US: Model Community Climate Mitigation Programs

Grand Rapids, MichiganGrand Rapids is a rapidly growing mid-sized city of about 200,000 people that acts as a central hub for ongoing social justice and political movements in West Michigan; probably one of the biggest items on the city’s agenda is addressing climate change. The city has recently become involved in the climate justice movement,…

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