Reporting on climate change for cities and towns of all sizes is set to get easier.
At the UN climate conference in Bonn (COP23), CDP’s Paul Simpson and ICLEI’s Gino Van Begin made an important announcement that CDP and ICLEI will partner to present one unified platform for city climate reporting.
As former-UN climate chief Christiana Figueres said at the announcement:
“Because of this, we will have data that is robust and standardized across all cities… that gives the confidence to cities to know what they are doing, for investors to know what they are investing in, and… for national governments to really understand how much cities have been able to contribute.”
By streamlining the two systems into one centralized entry point, we hope to radically simplify how cities report and better enable them to track efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, build climate resilience and protect themselves from climate impacts.
So, what will this announcement mean for reporting cities?
While the details of the partnership will be finalised in the coming months, from 2019, the ICLEI network of cities, towns and regions will report alongside C40 member cities on CDP’s online reporting platform.
Cities will only have to report once, on one platform.
ICLEI will continue to support and provide technical assistance to local governments, while CDP and ICLEI will both use the self-reported city data to provide robust analysis of the action being taken by cities across the world.
The data and analysis will continue to support ICLEI’s advocacy messaging in its capacity as the focal point of the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities Constituency (LGMA) at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
This means that ICLEI will use the data to shape and substantiate its messages to nations and UN agencies to ensure that subnational commitments, plans and activities are embedded in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
City governments are increasingly implementing local policies that recognize sustainable investments as essential to tackling climate risks, and developing new markets, creating jobs and making their cities attractive places to live and work.
We’ve seen a 20-fold increase in the number of city actions on climate change in just six years, and by tapping into a wider network, we hope to build on this incredible momentum.
Moving the reporting of these actions into one place will also create a centralized hub for information on just what action cities are taking. This will not only help local governments managing their cities to better understand the opportunities available to them but will provide the vital information for investors to feel confident in their funding decisions.
Meanwhile, by showcasing the groundswell of support for and contributions made to tackling climate change within our major urban hubs as well as rural communities, this data will help provide the confidence to national governments to raise their own ambition on climate change.
A simpler journey for reporting
CDP and ICLEI both hope to make this journey to action as easy as possible.
The COP23 announcement was in direct response to the call from cities to simplify reporting on climate change, and CDP is also changing the way that cities report to aid this aim. In 2018, we will be launching a new online reporting system for cities. It will continue to ask the right questions of city management teams to track their progress, while aiming to make the process of reporting simpler and more intuitive for cities.