Expert Voices: Kerem Yilmaz, C40 Director of Research Projects

C40 completes online data gathering process for the third straight year

Around the world cities are leading the way in fighting climate change and, through our partnership with the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), C40’s official reporting platform, they are documenting the progress they have made — and the challenges that lie ahead.

On March 30, C40 cities completed their yearly disclosure of city greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, self-identified climate risks, and climate actions. Their responses continue to show how the world’s largest cities are at the forefront of tackling climate change and how cities around the world implement meaningful and sustainable climate-related policies and programs.

City disclosure brings a broad range of benefits for the entire C40 network. This data is used to gain insights into what is happening across cities, to identify opportunities for further action across the global network, and to help prioritize initiative areas with the greatest potential for action and emissions reductions. This information will be used to show the collective power of the world’s largest cities in the fight against climate change and, in a first for 2013, will also be used to create individualized, private benchmarking reports and analysis. Lastly, annual disclosure and reporting activity helps ensure that C40 cities are on track to meet their individual goals and targets in reducing climate risks and GHG emissions reductions.

C40 is currently working with its partners, CDP and AECOM, to analyse this year’s data. We plan on releasing our joint annual report on June 20. The 2013 reporting cycle also marks the introduction of the new C40 Actions Module. This module is the backbone for updating the Climate Action in Megacities: C40 Cities Baseline and Opportunities report (CAM 1.0), published in 2011. CAM 1.0 was the first comprehensive analysis of city actions to address climate change. CAM 2.0, an updated report being developed with our partners at Arup, will be launched at the next C40 Mayoral Summit in Johannesburg in February 2014, with a newer survey of actions across all 63 cities within C40.

We at C40 recognize that annual disclosure may be a time-consuming process, especially when it is added to each city’s other environmental reporting responsibilities. All of this hard work, however, is already paying dividends — in three years we have seen a steady increase in the participation from member cities, as well as a higher number of questions responded to with an overall higher degree of detail. Even more importantly, we are continuing to see the impact of C40 cities’ leadership as more and more cities around the world are choosing to follow suit and report on their climate related activities. In fact, this year the number of cities reporting to CDP has nearly doubled!

None of this would be possible without the hard work of cities all over the world and their dedicated staff that tirelessly work to make their cities a safer, cleaner, and more sustainable place for all of us to enjoy.