A New A List

An ‘A List’ featuring 43 global cities has been released by environmental impact non-profit CDP at the start of EU Green Week.

Barcelona, London, Paris, Cape Town, Hong Kong and San Francisco are among the 7% of cities reporting to CDP that have received the top score for climate leadership and action.

‘The need for action on climate change has never been more urgent, as the latest report from the IPCC has warned. Cities house more than half of the world’s population and are responsible for over 70% of the world’s energy-related carbon emissions, so they could make or break efforts to tackle climate change.
‘Just 7% of cities who reported to CDP in 2018 received an A. We urge cities worldwide to step up their action, set targets in line with what the latest science says is needed to prevent dangerous climate change, and transparently share their progress.’
Global director for Cities, States and Regions at CDP


Over 625 cities reported through CDP’s environmental disclosure platform in 2018, of which 596 were scored. They have been awarded an ‘A’ to ‘D’ score based on how effectively they are managing, measuring and tackling greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate-related risks including water security.

An ‘A’ score through CDP, which runs the global environmental reporting system for companies and subnational governments, means a city demonstrates strong climate adaptation and mitigation strategies, and consistently tracks its emissions.


Leading action looks different around the world, depending on the size of the city, the size of its emissions and its susceptibility to extreme weather events.

Actions being taken by A List cities include:

LONDON: introduced an ultra-low emissions zone on 08 April 2019, which sees drivers with older, more polluting cars paying more to drive in central London in a bid to clean up the city’s air.

CALGARY: is building a new light rail system, aptly named the Green Line. The first stage will be completed in 2026 and is expected cut 30,000 tonnes of CO2e from the city’s traffic emissions every year – the equivalent of taking more than 23,000 cars off the road each year.

THE HAGUE: in its seaside resort of Scheveningen, the city has built a new waterfront boulevard. Invisible to the average citizen, a kilometre-long dike can be found beneath the boulevard, offering another layer of protection from coastal flooding.

TAIPEI: tackling drought is a top priority for the city; it has fixed 2,200 water leaks, saving 613,300 tonnes of water per year since 2015.


‘Calgary has been a leader on climate action for over a decade now’, said Warren Brooke, business strategist at Calgary’s Climate Change Program. ‘We’ve been at the forefront across the province and the country, piloting strategies to reduce our emissions and increase our resilience. Making CDP’s A List in 2018 has been a great recognition of our work to date.’

All 43 cities on the A List have ambitious targets to cut emissions, with 13 cities aiming to be climate neutral or carbon neutral by 2050. Among these are Melbourne, Reykjavík and The Hague. Melbourne aims to be carbon neutral by 2020, Reykjavík by 2040 and The Hague by 2030.

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13 May 2019