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Carbon Disclosure Project, ICLEI partner to help US cities report local climate actions, emissions

New York, Las Vegas, New Orleans, among first 21 cities announced; ICLEI -- local governments for sustainability to partner

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability are joining forces with some of the United States' largest cities to help them voluntarily report their greenhouse gas emissions and other climate change-relevant data.

This project marks a significant step in advancing public disclosure and reporting on climate change related issues. Cities will be able to use the project to learn from peers on climate change management and the project will shed light on the level of awareness and preparedness of the cities on this issue. It will also demonstrate to companies, investors and the general public how individual cities are dealing with the risks and opportunities climate change presents.

Under the new CDP Cities program, at least 30 urban centers, including New York, Las Vegas, Denver, West Palm Beach, St. Paul and New Orleans, will use ICLEI's Local Government Operations Protocol and software tools to assess their greenhouse gas emissions profile and then will disclose this inventory data to the CDP online reporting. Twenty-one cities were announced today, with at least nine others expected to take part in the pilot project.

Each city will assemble comparable carbon emission data within their jurisdiction's operations -- for instance, fire department, ambulance and police services, municipal buildings, waste transport and other services the cities provide or activities over which they exercise budgetary control. They will follow CDP systems to assess and disclose climate change-related risks and opportunities relating to the whole city. Cities will use the Local Government Operations Protocol, coauthored by ICLEI and the California Climate Action Registry, with input from expert stakeholders across the United States, which details the policy framework, calculation methodologies, and reporting guidance for quantifying GHG emissions from local government operations.

Paul Dickinson, CEO of CDP commented: 'Over 70% of total global emissions are generated from cities and if you don't measure these emissions, you cannot manage them. This is a vital step for city councils who wish to gain a better understanding of their own impact and by improving their understanding of risks and opportunities associated with climate change, best prepare their cities for a carbon constrained world.'

"ICLEI's partnership with the Carbon Disclosure Project underscores how crucial standards, quantification methods and voluntary reporting are to local climate action," said Michelle Wyman, Executive Director of ICLEI USA. "This project provides the opportunity for transparency, and is essential in the emerging national and global policy dialogue as the priorities of local governments to achieve swift and deep reductions are identified and advanced by local government leaders."

Said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg: "The City of New York joins the world's leading corporations in providing a complete, accurate accounting of its carbon emissions, the strategies it is employing to mitigate those emissions, and the results of its efforts through the Carbon Disclosure Project and ICLEI. This partnership between the world's major corporations and, increasingly, its cities, highlights the importance of the cooperative action needed to successfully counter climate change. Working together, and with the best data, we can manage this problem, and leave our children and grandchildren a healthier and more sustainable planet."

The CDP Cities program is a voluntary disclosure process. Cities will submit their responses to CDP by October 31st 2008. All responses will be announced and published in the first ever CDP Cities Report and ICLEI Local Action Network Report in January 2009 respectively.

Terry Collins | EurekAlert!
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