Lahti has been recognized by CDP as one of 95 cities across the globe – almost half of them new to this year’s list – that is taking bold leadership on environmental action and transparency, despite the continued pressures of tackling the coronavirus pandemic on local and national economies and societies.
Designed to encourage and support cities to ramp up their climate action and ambition, CDP’s Cities A List is based on environmental data disclosed by cities to the CDP-ICLEI Unified Reporting System. A clear momentum in city climate disclosure and action is building – for the first time, over 1,000 cities are reporting their environmental impact through CDP in 2021. Meanwhile, 965 cities received a rating for their climate action from CDP in 2021, a substantial rise on the 591 cities scored in 2020.
To score an A, a city must disclose publicly and have a city-wide emissions inventory, have set an emissions reduction target and a renewable energy target for the future and have published a climate action plan. It must also complete a climate risk and vulnerability assessment and have a climate adaptation plan to demonstrate how it will tackle climate hazards. Many A List cities are also taking a variety of other leadership actions, including political commitment from a city’s Mayor to tackle climate change.
To reflect the level of ambition needed to achieve 1.5°C targets, the bar for entry to the A List has been raised. As a result, in 2021, less than one in ten cities scored by CDP (9.8% of such cities) received an A.
A List cities are demonstrating their climate leadership through concerted and effective action, just as national governments were asked to do at COP26. They are taking twice as many mitigation and adaptation measures as non-A List cities, and also identify more than twice as many opportunities – such as the development of sustainable transport sectors and clean technology businesses – arising from the shift to a net-zero world.
Lahti and the other 94 cities on this year’s A List, are also celebrated for showing that urgent and impactful climate action – from ambitious emissions reduction targets to building resilience against climate change – is achievable at a global level, and in cities with different climate realities and priorities. However, this action needs to go further and faster to meet the new targets agreed at COP26.