Cities can disclose to CDP, Global Covenant of Mayors and C40, if applicable. Global Covenant questions are integrated in the questionnaires and guidance below. A full suite of support, guidance documents and webinars can be accessed through your dashboard when you log in.
Since 2019, CDP has partnered with ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability to present one unified platform for city climate reporting, streamlining the process of reporting and ensuring simplicity and standardisation for reporting cities. Cities will only have to report once, on one platform, to the following questions.
CDP provides guidance that explains each question in detail and describes what information to provide, the required format, and where to find tools or further information to construct your answer.
CDP is a global non-profit that runs the world’s environmental disclosure system for companies, cities, states and regions. Founded in 2000 and working with more than 680 investors with over $130 trillion in assets, CDP pioneered using capital markets and corporate procurement to motivate companies to disclose their environmental impacts, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard water resources and protect forests.
Over 20,000 organizations around the world disclosed data through CDP in 2022, including more than 18,700 companies, and over 1,100 cities, states and regions. CDP is a founding member of the Science Based Targets initiative, We Mean Business Coalition, The Investor Agenda and the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative.
Explore the CDP website further or follow us on Twitter (@CDP) to find out more.
View the list of cities who reported in 2022.
Through CDP-ICLEI Track, cities can measure, monitor, and manage their impact on their environment as well as access networks and shared information from cities all over the world.
Reporting through us has many benefits:
Cities, states and regions are asked to respond to information requests using CDP-ICLEI Track. If you have already received a request to respond, you can access the questionnaire through an individual activation link sent by email from CDP. This email contains instructions to access CDP’s secure online platform, which hosts the questionnaire.
If you have not yet received a request to respond but you would like to, please register your interest by completing the cities registration form. After you submit this form, we will check the data you have supplied and send you an email with information on next steps. This process may take a few weeks during busy periods. If you have already received an activation link or you have access to your city’s response dashboard and questionnaire, you do not need to complete this form. You can sign in here.
If you need help accessing your city’s questionnaire, or you have not received a link and would like to participate, please contact the support team on the CDP Help Center.
There is no limit to the number of users that can be added to your account.
There are three different types of user roles. The different permissions for each user role are listed below.
This person is responsible for the organization’s responses. Only one person per organization can be the Main User. A main user can complete the actions below.
Please note that as the Main User your details will be stored in CDP’s systems.
This person has access to the response(s) and can enter, save and edit data. This type of user role can be used to collaborate with multiple colleagues, who can all directly access the online questionnaire via CDP-ICLEI Track.
This person has access to the response(s) but cannot enter, save or edit data. This type of user role can be used for sharing the response(s) with colleagues for review or sign off purposes.
For further information on the types of users view the CDP Help Center Knowledge article here or contact the support team on the CDP Help Center.
It's free to respond to the Cities Questionnaire. CDP has charitable status and seeks to use its limited funds effectively. As such, responses must be prepared and submitted at the expense of responding cities.
There is no minimum amount of data that needs to be reported and the response is completely voluntary at all stages.
However, if your city is committed to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, certain requirements should be met. In order to pass the lowest scoring band of ‘disclosure’ according to CDPs scoring methodology, you must provide a fairly complete response to the Cities Questionnaire.
Yes, certain cities can submit a non-public response. Your data will still be used by CDP, ICLEI and our partners in aggregate format in our communications. The difference being that your city’s data will not be highlighted in our external communications, reports and CDPs Open Data Portal.
Please note that cities are not able to submit a non-public response if they are reporting to the:
The Terms and Conditions for our Cities Questionnaire provides a comprehensive list of information on what happens to your response after submission. The Terms and Conditions are also available through the ‘Submit your response’ page of the online questionnaires.
The timeline for the 2023 reporting period for cities is as follows:
This allows city and local governments over 12 weeks to submit their response.
2023 guide to the reporting platform – This provides you with a comprehensive guide on how to use our reporting platform and explains all of its features.
2023 Cities reporting guidance – This provides detailed step-by-step guidance for completing the online questionnaire that you can use when filling out individual sections and questions in the questionnaire.
2023 Cities Scoring Methodology – This provides the full details of the 2023 Scoring Methodology with a complete breakdown of the scoring criteria.
Webinars – Webinars are held throughout the reporting cycle. You can sign up through the registration links that will be sent via email and are found on our Cities events page. These will cover procedures such as signing up, activating the questionnaire, best practices and specific guidance on certain sections.
For further support, please visit the CDP Help Center.
The Cities Questionnaire requests qualitative and quantitative environmental data for the following themes:
Detailed information about each section and question can be found in the 2023 Cities reporting guidance.
The data reported to CDP-ICLEI Track is used by various entities after submission and analysis.
The Terms and Conditions for our Cities Questionnaire provides a comprehensive list of information on what happens to your response after submission. The Terms and Conditions are also available through the ‘Submit your response’ page of the online questionnaires.
If you previously reported, you will be able to access your previous response through your response dashboard within CDP-ICLEI Track. Local and regional governments are asked to submit their climate information every year but are able to use information reported the previous year as a basis. If your city submitted a response to the 2022 questionnaire through CDP-ICLEI Track, your answers have been auto-populated in to your 2023 questionnaire where applicable.
Please refer to the guide to the reporting platform for information on how to identify which questions have been auto-populated. Please note that attachments are not auto-populated into your response.
CDP offer all participating cities with tools and detailed feedback on their score to urge them to improve year on year. Cities are expected to provide a reasonably complete response overall in order to be scored accurately and to submit it by the scoring deadline.
Based on the information the cities provide in their response, CDP assigns the city a score within one of four scoring bands:
The One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) is WWF’s invitation for cities to join us on our ongoing mission: the creation of cities that enable people to thrive in balance with nature now and in the future.
In this friendly competition, WWF supports cities in accelerating their climate transformation and showcases participants’ best practices.
Joining the challenge means your city can get:
As part of a larger community, you can be a part of pushing the climate agenda both nationally and globally. We also offer capacity building and invitations to other WWF initiatives.
And last but not least: the challenge is not about winning, but about moving the climate agenda forward together and inspiring and spurring each other on!
All cities and other local governments reporting to CDP-ICLEI Track are welcome to participate in WWF’s OPCC. The reporting requirements of CDP-ICLEI Track define the participation prerequisites for the OPCC. Thus, eligible participants in CDP-ICLEI Track are also eligible for the OPCC.
For a full list of the administrative boundaries accepted and their descriptions, see the 2023 Cities Reporting Guidance.
For further information, please view the WWF OPCC FAQs (link coming soon).
GCoM is the largest global alliance for city climate leadership, built on the commitment of over 12,600 cities and local governments who share a long-term vision of supporting voluntary action to combat climate change and moving towards a resilient and low-emission society.
Cities committed to the GCoM agree to make key data publicly available via regular reporting in order to track progress in achieving the aims of the alliance. CDP-ICLEI Track is one of the GCoM recognized reporting platforms. It is fully aligned with the GCoM Common Reporting Framework (CRF) which means that any data point required by the CRF can be reported through the system.
GCoM-committed cities have the opportunity to achieve badges of compliance through their reporting for:
Once a city has submitted their data through the CDP-ICLEI Track, their questionnaire response will undergo the first level of validation against the requirements of the CRF. Cities will receive an email with their provisional compliance results from CDP or ICLEI including comprehensive feedback and recommendations for improving the data. Compliance is achieved once all the associated requirements of the CRF have been met.
Cities that submit earlier in the reporting cycle can participate in several rounds of receiving feedback, allowing them to submit amendments to correct common mistakes. In a rolling bases, amendments are reviewed and an email with the non-official results is sent within a month of amendments submission.
After the platform closure, cities’ data will be shared with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy for a second round of validation and award the final badges earned for that reporting year. These badges will be displayed on the city’s profile on the Global Covenant of Mayors website.
Cities participating in the Global Covenant of Mayors will be presented with all CRF aligned questions and columns independent on the questionnaire pathway selected. Please refer to the Questionnaire Pathway Map for further information.
CRF mandatory data points are indicated with the “^” symbol. This improvement allows cities to easily identify mandatory indicators and avoid common mistakes. To achieve full compliance, cities must answer all mandatory data points (“^”) appropriately.
The Race to Zero is a global campaign - led by the UN High-Level Climate Champions for Climate Action – Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz - to rally non-state actors - businesses, cities, regions and investors – to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. It aims to achieve a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth.
Race to Zero mobilizes a coalition of leading net zero initiatives, representing cities, regions, companies, universities and investors. These ‘real economy’ actors join 120 countries in the largest ever alliance committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest.
Cities Race to Zero is the official track for cities to join the Race to Zero campaign. It is especially designed to help cities meet the Race’s criteria and access the best available expertise along the way.
The Cities Race to Zero is organised by:
Cities can join the Cities Race to Zero campaign on their website. Joining Race to Zero is a pledge to:
Selecting this option and completing the Cities Questionnaire fulfils the 2023 reporting requirements of your pledge. Cities who have joined the campaign must report publicly. If your city has not yet joined the Race to Zero, but wishes to do so, select this option and submit your pledge at www.citiesracetozero.org.
Making a commitment to the Cities Race to Zero remains in line with the GCoM Common Reporting Framework (CRF) and is consistent with existing guidance on targets as part of the CRF and city reporting requirements.
A GCoM compliant mitigation commitment must be at least as ambitious as the relevant national government’s NDC. As the Race to Zero target is generally more ambitious, or in some cases equally ambitious, to current NDCs, this type of target meets the criteria for a GCoM mitigation commitment.
Currently the Race to Zero only relates to mitigation targets under the GCoM framework. Therefore, while a Race to Zero target may meet requirements for compliance under the mitigation pillar, cities will still need to establish adaptation and energy access commitments and strategies beyond the scope of the Race to Zero to achieve full GCoM compliance.
Furthermore, Race to Zero commitments will not be required for GCoM compliance but are a recommended option to meet the mitigation requirements under GCoM.
CDP-ICLEI Track is the progress tracker for the UNFCCC’s Race to Resilience. Race to Resilience is a global campaign catalyzing ambition for climate resilience, putting people and nature first and supporting frontline communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
To join the campaign, pledge to Cities Race to Resilience or select this option to indicate your interest. You can report your progress against your Race to Resilience pledges by completing the 2023 Cities Questionnaire. Cities who have joined the campaign must report publicly.
If you are unsure if your city has already joined, please contact [email protected].
NetZeroCities is a consortium of 33 partners from 27 European countries that is currently managing the EU Cities Mission “100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030” platform. It is coordinated by EIT Climate-KIC, Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership focused on climate innovation to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
NetZeroCities supports the 112 European cities selected by the European Commission to join the EU Cities Mission in drastically reducing their greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve climate neutrality. It works as a service-oriented platform supported by world-class practitioners to help cities overcome the current structural, institutional, and cultural barriers they face in order to achieve climate neutrality by 2030.
Cities invited to join the EU Cities Mission are invited to disclose to CDP-ICLEI Track.
Science-based targets are measurable and actionable targets that allow cities to align their actions with societal sustainability goals and the biophysical limits that define the safety and stability of earth systems.
Targets adopted by cities to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are considered “science-based” if they are in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5 °C. As well as considering the latest science, a science-based target should account for equity and be comprehensive in the GHGs and emission sources included
Giving cities the confidence that their targets are ambitious enough: The science is telling us that globally we need to halve emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 but how does this target translate down to individual cities? What does this mean for a small town in Nepal versus a large city in the United States? A science-based target tells cities what their individual contribution should be to this global goal. It means cities can be confident that their planned emissions reductions are in line with what is needed globally to limit warming to 1.5°C, and confident that they are taking the appropriate action to combat climate change.
Ensuring that cities start making deep emissions cuts now: The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C shows that to limit global warming to 1.5°C, we have an estimated remaining carbon budget of somewhere between 420 and 770 GtCO2 (although there are large uncertainties in these estimates). Currently, we are depleting that global budget by 42 GtCO2 per year. At that rate, we will use up our remaining carbon budget somewhere between 2030 and 2040, long before our target to be net zero by 2050. To ensure that we do not use up our remaining carbon budget in the next 10 to 20 years, we need to start making deep emissions cuts now. Setting a science-based mid-term target is critical for ensuring that cities do the same. The more progress that can be made now, the easier it will be for cities to reach their long-term net zero targets.
Enabling cities to track their progress: Having a science-based target is important for enabling cities to track their progress towards net zero. This is because they are measurable, connecting percentage reduction targets to cities’ actual measured emissions, and because they include mid-term target. The mid-term target ensures that cities start reducing their emissions early and that they stay on a pathway designed to reach net zero by 2050.
Meeting the Cities Race to Zero requirements: Setting a science-based target it one of the requirements of the Cities Race to Zero campaign, the UNFCCC’s global movement of actors subnational governments committing to reach net zero by 2050.
The Science Based Targets Network (SBTN) is one of the four elements of the Global Commons Alliance. SBTN brings together over 50 partner organisations, including NGOs, business associations and consultancies to collectively define what is necessary to do “enough” to stay within Earth’s limits and meet society’s needs.
SBTN develops methods, guidance and tools for cities and companies to set science-based targets for all earth’s systems.
CDP is one of SBTN’s core cities partners, working to support cities in setting science-based targets for climate and nature.
The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTI) is the initiative for companies wanting to set science-based targets for climate.
The SBTI are part of, and the source of inspiration for, the Science Based Targets Network (SBTN): a group of over 50 organisations established to develop the tools and approaches cities and businesses need to set science-based targets for all earth systems (not just climate, but also nature, including water, biodiversity, land and oceans).
The SBTN is building on the SBTI’s momentum with companies by extending that approach beyond climate to nature, and beyond companies to cities as well.
CDP is a core city partner of the Science Based Targets Network (SBTN) leading on the Science Based Targets for Cities programme alongside WWF, ICLEI, C40 Cities, Global Covenant of Mayors and World Resources Institute.
Since 2018, the SBTN’s core city partners have been developing the principles and technical basis of science-based targets for cities. This includes evaluating existing methodologies against core principles, producing a guide for cities and helping them identify which methodology best suits them.
From 2023 onwards, the core city partners are working to develop criteria to validate cities’ targets and deliver technical support to cities to set science-based targets.
There are multiple methodologies and approaches cities can use to set science-based climate targets.
The Science Based Targets Network’s core cities partners have evaluated a group of methodologies and produced a guide to help cities select the best approach for setting a science-based climate target.
Download the guide here to get started.
The Science Based Targets Network’s (SBTN) core cities partners evaluated existing methodologies against the three core principles of science-based targets for cities: comprehensiveness (covering city-wide, scope 1 and 2 emissions), alignment with the latest science (a 1.5°C global pathway), and equity. The methodologies were also tested for their usability by cities. For more information on the evaluation process, read the core city partner’s research paper titled: “Results of the assessment of GHG emission reduction target setting methodologies for cities”. You can also explore our technical research document underpinning the guide here: “Testing the applicability of science-based target setting methodologies: technical summary document”. The SBTN will continue to evaluate new science-based target methodologies as they emerge.
Both base year absolute emissions targets and fixed level targets are absolute targets. An absolute target refers to the total amount of emissions being emitted.
A base year absolute emissions target refers to a target that aims to reduce GHG emissions by a set amount relative to a base year. For example, an emissions target aiming to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030.
A fixed level target represents a reduction in emissions to an absolute emissions level by a target year and is not expressed relative to a base year. For example, an emissions target aiming to reach 100,000 tonnes CO2e by 2030.
Net zero targets are a common type of fixed level goal. For example, to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
A base year emissions intensity target aims to reduce a city’s emissions intensity (typically per GDP or per capita) by a set amount relative to a base year. For example, an emissions target aiming to reduce emissions per capita by 50% by 2030. This allows a city to set emissions reduction targets while accounting for economic or population growth.
A baseline scenario (business as usual) target is a commitment to reduce emissions by a specified quantity relative to a projected emissions baseline scenario, also referred to as a business as usual scenario. A baseline scenario is a reference case that represents future events or conditions most likely to occur in the absence of activities taken to meet the mitigation goal. For example, a 50% reduction from baseline scenario emissions in 2030.
Carbon neutrality or net zero carbon dioxide emissions: Net zero carbon dioxide emissions are achieved when anthropogenic CO2 emissions are balanced globally by anthropogenic CO2 removals over a specified period.
Net zero emissions: Net zero emissions are achieved when anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere are balanced by anthropogenic removals over a specified period. Where multiple greenhouse gases are involved, the quantification of net zero emissions depends on the climate metric chosen to compare emissions of different gases (such as global warming potential, global temperature change potential, and others, as well as the chosen time horizon).
Climate neutrality: Concept of a state in which human activities result in no net effect on the climate system. Achieving such a state would require balancing of residual emissions with emission (carbon dioxide) removal as well as accounting for regional or local biogeophysical effects of human activities that, for example, affect surface albedo or local climate.
One of the core principles of science-based targets for cities is that they are comprehensive. This means the targets are robust, taking into account city-wide emissions from a variety of sources (at least scopes 1 and 2) and multiple GHGs.
Science-based targets should cover all scope 1 and scope 2 emissions within a city’s jurisdictional boundary this includes from the sectors; stationary energy, transportation, waste and if applicable and occurs within jurisdictional boundary emissions also from Industrial Processes and Product Use (IPPU), emissions and removals from Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use (AFOLU).
All three methodologies in the science-based targets for cities guide include both scope 1 and 2 emissions. Scope 3 emissions are not currently included in the science-based target methodologies or required for a city to have a science-based target. The SBTN will continue to evaluate new science-based target methodologies as they emerge.
The Science Based Targets Network is developing methods, tools and guidance for cities and companies to set targets beyond climate, to include all earth’s systems: water, oceans, land and biodiversity. This work is still underway for cities.
If you are interested in the development of this area, you can register your interest here.
Science-based targets for cities is an exciting and emerging area of work with some areas still under development. CDP can support cities in checking the targets they have set or direct them to relevant sources.
Please report your target through CDP-ICLEI Track in 2023.
Reducing emissions is not just about the date that you reach net zero emissions. It is also about knowing and understanding what the remaining carbon budget is and how quickly it is being depleted.
The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C shows that to limit global warming to 1.5°C, we have an estimated remaining carbon budget of somewhere between 420 and 770 GtCO2 (although there are large uncertainties in these estimates). Currently, we are depleting that global budget by approximately 42 GtCO2 per year. At that rate, we will use up our remaining carbon budget somewhere between 2030 and 2040, long before our target to be net zero by 2050.
To ensure that we do not use up our remaining carbon budget in the next 10 to 20 years, we need to start making deep emissions cuts now. Setting a science-based mid-term target is critical for ensuring that cities do the same. The more progress that can be made now, the easier it will be for cities to reach their long-term net zero targets.
Setting a science-based emission reduction target is a key element of the Cities Race to Zero pledge. Signatories of the Cities Race to Zero have until 2022 to set a science-based greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.
Find out more at www.citiesracetozero.org.
CDP is supporting cities to set, check and disclose science-based climate targets. To access this support, report your current or updated target to CDP-ICLEI Track in 2023.
For additional support:
If you require further assistance, please contact the support team on the CDP Help Center.
Cities that are members of ICLEI and C40 Cities will receive target setting support from these organisations.
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