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The District Among 17 Leading International Cities to Launch Global Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance

Monday, March 30, 2015

CONTACT: Julia Robey Christian, 202.741.0842 desk, 202.450.7878 cell, [email protected]

WASHINGTON, DC — March 30, 2015 — Mayor Bowser joined the mayors of 16 international cities across nine nations to launch the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, a collaboration of global cities committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent or more by 2050 or sooner—the most ambitious GHG emission reduction targets undertaken by any cities across the globe. Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance cities are:

Berlin, Germany

Minneapolis, MN, USA

Stockholm, Sweden

Boston, MA, USA

New York City, NY, USA

Sydney, Australia

Boulder, CO, USA

Oslo, Norway

Vancouver, Canada

Copenhagen, Denmark

Portland, OR, USA

Washington DC, USA

London, United Kingdom

San Francisco, CA, USA

Yokohama, Japan

Melbourne, Australia

Seattle, WA, USA


“Cities, like the District of Columbia, recognize that they are on the front lines of combatting climate change. We are committed to cutting our carbon emissions in order to avert the worst impacts of climate change,” said Mayor Bowser. “The District is showing that we can cut emissions while we create pathways to the middle class for our residents.”

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global average temperature increases must be kept below 2 degrees Celsius to avoid serious ecosystem disruption and grave human health impacts. Because urban areas account for nearly three-quarters of humanity's emissions, minimizing global temperature changes will require cities to reduce GHGs by 80% below 2000 levels by 2050.

The District is one of the leading cities around the world that has already reduced GHGs through improvements in building energy efficiency, investments in renewable energy, and expansions of alternative transportation options. Reaching the District’s goal of reducing GHGs by 80 percent below 2006 levels by 2050 will require focused action for multiple decades to fundamentally redesign our buildings, our energy supply, and transportation systems.

“The District has already demonstrated a more than 12 percent reduction in GHGs since 2006 during a period of significant population and economic growth. Working with our fellow Alliance cities and with our citizens and private sector partners, we will show that we can create vibrant and sustainable communities through the achievement of a carbon neutral future,” said Tommy Wells, Director of the District Department of the Environment.

The Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance is staffed by the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) in partnership with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) and Innovation Network for Communities (INC). The Alliance’s work is supported by the Kresge Foundation, V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, Summit Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Barr Foundation.

Early Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance activities include:

  • Developing Carbon Neutrality Planning Standards – Developing approaches, analysis and tools to support cities striving for carbon neutrality, and standardizing measurement and verification methodologies for tracking progress.
  • Advancing “Transformative Change” in Key Urban Sectors – Sharing and implementing best practices for achieving “transformative” deep carbon reduction strategies in urban transportation, energy use and waste systems.
  • Advocating for Policy Change – Identifying and advocating for policies at the state, regional and federal levels to reduce emission sources not controlled directly by cities, and engaging with other external stakeholders, such as utility companies, who are critical to cities’ success.
  • Speaking with a Common Voice – Helping CNCA cities demonstrate their leadership and communicate with a common voice.
  • Creating a CNCA “Innovation Fund” – Investing in high-potential, city-led projects that develop, test, implement and amplify deep de-carbonization strategies and practices (currently funded at $700,000).
  • Fostering a “Next Wave” of Carbon Neutral Cities – Sharing best practices and lessons learned with the “next wave” of cities preparing to adopt deep carbon reduction targets.

For more information on the District’s climate and sustainability programs, go to or contact Kate Johnson at [email protected]. For more information on the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, go to