Case Study

ICLEI's Cities for Climate Protection

The Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) Campaign was established by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) in 1993 at an international summit of municipal leaders held at the U.N. headquarters in New York. Over the past seven years the CCP has engaged over 400 municipal governments -- 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions -- in a worldwide effort to slow the Earth's warming.

The Campaign grew out of ICLEI's Urban CO2 Reduction Project (1991-1993), which brought together a select group of American, Canadian, and European cities at six working meetings to develop a municipal planning framework for greenhouse gas reduction and strategic energy management. The experience of the Urban CO2 Reduction Project led to the development of the CCP's five-milestone framework and a software product designed for municipal use. The CCP's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Software streamlines the process of conducting the emissions analysis, of evaluating emissions reduction measures that also best meet the strategies of the community, and of tracking measures to determine if emissions reductions are being achieved.

The Campaign is a world-wide movement of local governments which adopt policies and implement measures in order to achieve measurable reductions in local greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, improve air quality, and enhance urban liveability and sustainability. The CCP works with municipalities to understand how local actions and practices contribute to the emissions which cause air pollution and global warming; to strengthen local capacity to develop plans and implement actions to cut local emissions; to promote best practices that reduce energy use in buildings and transportation; to promote renewable sources of energy and to improve waste management.

ICLEI has been running the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign since 1994. The campaign to date gathers over 400 cities, towns and counties world-wide, which collectively account for approximately 8% of global GHG emissions. CCP has established branches in Europe (130 participants), Asia (32 participants), Australia (136 participants) Canada (82 participants), the USA (106 participants) and the Philippines (10 participants). It has recently launched national campaigns in several countries including India, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa.

Achievements of CPP activities include:

  • Actual GHG emissions reductions of annually more than 7 million tons of CO2 by the U.S. participants in the CCP alone, showing the effective reduction of GHG emissions of the CCP-participating local authorities, following their own commitment.
  • The commitment of 264 US companies to act to reduce their energy use and GHG emissions in partnership with their local authorities.
The CPP philosophy is that local authorities are part of the problem causing global GHG emissions but also part of the solution. They have the potential to mitigate global climate change by following a series of five basic tasks or milestones:
  1. Conduct a GHG emissions analysis
  2. Establish an emissions' reduction target
  3. Develop a local action plan to reduce GHG gases emissions
  4. Implement the local action plan
  5. Monitor progress and report on results
Emissions of CO2 are produced whenever fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, gasoline diesel, fuel or coal are burned to produce electricity, power vehicles, heat or cool buildings. The purchase of energy efficient products such as low-energy light bulbs and lighting systems, renewable energy, fuel-efficient and alternatively fuelled vehicles or EnergyStar labelled office equipment hence is an important step towards reducing GHG emissions. It is, as such, part of the CCP activities which encompass a wide array of actions such as the development of interest free loans scheme for home insulation, the construction of energy efficient display homes, the recovering of landfill methane to produce energy, the promotion of solar energy for residential water heating or the setting of telecommuting to reduce city employee driving. The CCP milestones are the framework for local authorities to target the large emissions sources in their communities and act to reduce emissions through policies and measures.

In order to become a participant in the CCP, the elected council or an appropriate bureaucratic authority must adopt a Local Government Resolution. In most local governments, the draft resolution is prepared by staff and eventually approved by the full governing body of the local authority. Once it has become a CCP participant, the local government proceeds to undertake and complete the five performance milestones. They are: (a) conduct an energy and emissions inventory and forecast; (b) establish an emissions target; (c) develop and obtain approval for the Local Action Plan; (d) implement policies and measures; and (e) monitor and verify results.

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