The state of long-term climate action planning in megacities

by Eric Ast

Institution: KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Year: 2015
Keywords: Climate Action Planning; Megacities; Climate Change Mitigation; Decarbonization Pathways; Carbon Emissions and Reporting Standardization; Engineering and Technology; Environmental Engineering; Energy Systems; Teknik och teknologier; Naturresursteknik; Energisystem; Environmental Management; Miljöledning; Master of Science - Sustainable Technology; Teknologie masterexamen - Teknik och hållbar utveckling
Record ID: 1332383
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-163154


This report reviews the current state of long-term climate action planning in 17 cities which have publicly communicated carbon reducttargets in line with the IPCC recommended 80% reduction by 2050 (80x50) for stabilizing the impacts of climate change at 2°C.  The aim of this report is to provide a foundation of support for cities in achieving their deep carbon reduction goals through a comprehensive understanding of leading climate action plans and the context under which they were created, including current city emissions and demographic data, climate plan reduction strategies and targets, and feedback on plan creation and needs from city planning staff.  By achieving this aim, cities are in a better position to understand where their plans fit in the global context and connect with other cities around common issues, research institutions have a new benchmark analysis of leading action plans to build further research upon, and city-level climate action organizations have a clearer idea of how to focus efforts in helping cities achieve carbon reduction goals.  This aim is achieved through the application of a framework for comparing city plans and targets, an analysis of current city emissions and demographic data, and synthesis of key findings from city planning staff discussions.   Key findings show no clear demographic and environmental biases exist within these 17 cities, indicating long-term climate action planning can be undertaken by cities across the full spectrum of size, climate, and current per capita emissions output, though regional geographic and development bias exists.  Plans for carbon reduction are highly concentrated among a small number of actions, indicating the movement has coalesced around a standard set of strategies for achieving deep carbon reductions.  Finally, the relative newness of plans, with the majority less than 5 years old, and the lack of commonality among cities in emissions methodology and communication of reduction strategies, shifts a short-term focus towards standardization methodologies which enable deeper comparison between cities and plans.