CONTACT: Nicole Goines, PIO, (202)536-7666; [email protected].
Washington, DC has been recognized by The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) as one of 123 cities and counties across the globe that is taking bold leadership on environmental action and transparency, despite the pressures of a challenging global economic situation. Designed to encourage and support local governments to ramp up their climate action and ambition, CDP’s Cities A List is based on environmental data disclosed by local governments to CDP-ICLEI Track. A clear momentum in local climate disclosure and action is building – for the first time – as over 1,000 cities and counties (1,002 in total) received a rating for their climate action from CDP in 2022, a rise on the 965 cities and counties scored in 2021. In 2022, just over one in ten local governments scored by CDP (12% of such local governments) received an A.
"Washington DC is taking an innovative and ambitious approach to mitigate climate change – to include our goal to be carbon neutral by 2045,” said Department of Energy and Environment Director Tommy Wells. “Thanks to our ground-breaking transportation and energy initiatives, we are creating a healthier, cleaner, and more equitable DC, as this recognition by CDP confirms. By reducing carbon emissions in the city, we are also improving air quality, increasing access to energy efficiency programs to low-income households, and bettering the lives of residents across all eight wards of the District."
To score an A, a local government must, among other actions, disclose publicly through CDP-ICLEI Track and have a community-wide emissions inventory. It must have set a renewable energy target for the future, have published a climate action plan, 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 and counties are also taking a variety of other leadership actions, such as political commitment from a city’s Mayor to tackle climate change.
A List cities and counties are demonstrating their climate leadership through concerted and effective action, just as national governments have been asked to do at COP27. They are taking twice as many mitigation and adaptation measures as non-A List local governments.
The District and the other 122 cities and counties 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 places with different climate realities and priorities. However, this action needs to go further and faster.
Climate change is already impacting The District, with record-breaking heat waves and snowstorms, flooding caused by rising sea levels and heavy rains, and the destructive 2012 derecho storm. Recognizing the need to prepare and adapt, the District has been working diligently to increase resilience to climate impact through Keep Cool DC, the comprehensive strategy to adapt to hotter days by reducing the drivers of extreme heat. The District has also taken an aggressive approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with its goal of being carbon neutral by 2045. For example, The District is reducing emissions by tackling existing building energy use through our innovative Building Energy Performance Standard (BEPS) Program, which was created to help reduce GHG emissions and energy consumption by through and accelerating the transition to electric vehicles with a commitment to converting public buses, high-capacity private passenger/light-duty vehicles, and commercial fleets to electric vehicles (EVs) by 2045.
“Congratulations to Washington, DC for earning a spot on the CDP Cities A List — one of 49 cities and counties in North America to make the list in 2022,” said Katie Walsh, Head of Cities, States, Regions and Public Authorities, CDP North America. “From mitigating carbon emissions in line with science, to building resilience against floods, drought and other climate hazards, to centering marginalized and vulnerable communities in their response, A List local governments are demonstrating best-practice environmental action. Washington, DC is in the vanguard of cities and counties leading the way toward a climate-safe future.”