Cities: The Focal Point of Climate Action

The author

David de Jager
Urban Energy

This blog post was written by Richard Boehnke.

Cities are a focal point of climate action, both individually and as signatories to large networks dedicated to climate mitigation (e.g., Covenant of Mayors and C40). However, efforts to pledge support, sign an agreement, and publish a local climate strategy with an emissions target do not equate to implementing meaningful climate action. Little data is available to support whether cities are on track to achieving targets or if their targets can be met. For example, with the Netherlands reporting only a 3.8% emissions reduction between 2010 and 2015, municipal governments will be required to take the lead in climate action. Yet, with limited budget and staff working on mitigation, most municipalities are also falling behind on individual climate targets. Ecofys, a Navigant company, investigated which existing best practices could be used by local governments to work towards achieving climate goals.

Opportunities for Local Governments: Best Practices in Climate Action

The study examined 26 best practices from 13 Dutch municipalities. These ranged from community energy ambassadors in Almere, to an energy coalition in Den Bosch, to the investment scheme that led to the construction of large wind turbines in Nijmegen. Civil servants stated the goal of these practices was to act as facilitator, engaging the public and businesses to mediate regulatory and institutional processes. However, more needs to be done to meet ambitious targets.

The First Missing Piece: Collaboration

Listening to other departments’ targets and collaborating on projects is crucial to developing citywide climate solutions. Climate projects typically involve several aspects of city development and are frequently cut due to varying priorities when considering the expense of a specific climate measure. It is possible to use mitigation actions to achieve municipal targets because of the broad impact these actions can have beyond reducing CO2 emissions, like air quality improvement or job creation. Achieving climate targets can be considered a co-benefit when conducting successful and profitable municipal projects.

The Second Missing Piece: Monitoring

Databases like the Klimaatmonitor—which contains key energy and climate statistics for Dutch municipalities—are extremely useful for overviews of municipal progress and national trends. However, there are no clear data or monitoring schemes of local climate projects. This gap limits decision makers because the effects of any given project are not known. Without this data, pilots are less likely to be scaled, best practices are difficult to develop and replicate, and real-time progress cannot be assessed.

A Way Forward

Clear, actionable climate plans are necessary to realize the potential of local climate action. Local governments lack public short- and long-term plans in areas where emissions will be locked in (e.g., district vs. electric heating, hydrogen vs. e-transport, in-depth vs. cursory building renovations). There are several tradeoffs when considering each of these paths, but inaction will only delay the inevitable choice and reduce related short- and mid-term benefits. Robust climate plans require:

  • Emissions targets
  • Emissions baseline
  • Budget
  • Stakeholders
  • Clear measures
  • An implementation plan and timeline
  • A monitoring scheme

If full-bodied plans are implemented, municipalities can share each step of their projects and monitor progress towards achieving local climate goals. With public long-term planning, citizens, cooperatives, and businesses can participate, invest in, and adapt to the municipal energy transition. Municipalities will have to invest a lot more than the currently allocated budgets and manpower to become climate neutral in 20-30 years.

Research conducted for the municipality of Utrecht (350,000 inhabitants) shows that if all measures were realized within the city limits, becoming climate neutral would require investments of about €9.5 billion. However, if the municipality agreed to take part of its investments outside of Utrecht (e.g., funding offshore wind in the North Sea), total investments could be reduced to roughly €4 billion. Ecofys, a Navigant company, proposes that national and municipal governments should agree on a fair effort sharing to reduce overall societal costs.

This blog post was also published at

32 reactions on 'Cities: The Focal Point of Climate Action'

  • mtaletwxds 02-03-2018 at 17:00 what is the generic for pill best price uk [url=]order online[/url] generic best price
  • ctaletqosr 03-03-2018 at 20:05 manly generic buy online buy sample [url=] pill[/url] online
  • jtaletlvuz 04-03-2018 at 08:29 lloyds pharmacy prices cheap online sildenafil vs [url=] online canadian pharmacy[/url] online
  • ntaletovzq 04-03-2018 at 12:32 buy online in australia coupons where can i buy in australia [url=] without prescription[/url] order generic
  • dtaletjfhp 04-03-2018 at 14:36 online forum cheap side effects men [url=]buy online usa[/url] buy online
  • ztaletaitx 04-03-2018 at 18:33 mailing list generic online is available without prescription [url=]order generic [/url] online
  • dtaletfxae 05-03-2018 at 00:47 does not work for me buy testimonials [url=] online canada[/url] order
  • btaletxrof 05-03-2018 at 05:20 best place to buy online forum cheap pills is covered by medicare [url=]cheap [/url] generic
  • ktalethllk 05-03-2018 at 07:08 over the counter countries order side effects of long term [url=]buy [/url] coupon
  • ytaletzsgc 05-03-2018 at 11:52 canadian pharmacy online cheap uk supplier [url=] pills online[/url] cheap 5mg
  • wtaletoypr 05-03-2018 at 13:33 how can you buy generic cheap pills [url=]order online cheap[/url] buy generic
  • dtaletlhck 05-03-2018 at 19:38 cost per pill natural pills doesnt work [url=] pills[/url] buy without prescription
  • etaletxfet 06-03-2018 at 00:05 buy cheap generic online cheap max dose per day [url=]order canada[/url] price
  • ttaletwmnj 06-03-2018 at 02:30 canada prescription generic canada daily price [url=] canada[/url] cheap 5mg
  • ataletfmgv 06-03-2018 at 07:15 maximum dosage online canada cheaper than [url=] coupon[/url] 5mg price
  • ktaletyzgg 06-03-2018 at 10:33 or better 20mg why does cause muscle pain [url=]buy cheap[/url] coupons
  • qtaletbidx 06-03-2018 at 14:57 length of effectiveness pills online should i try [url=] pills online[/url] pills
  • ctalethqgq 06-03-2018 at 17:47 coupon for daily online que es [url=]buy online[/url] 5mg
  • ptaletmzhh 06-03-2018 at 22:19 where to buy generic online in canada pills sale walmart prices [url=]order from canada[/url] pills sale
  • ptalettotm 08-03-2018 at 08:57 canada price 20mg price average cost of [url=]order generic online[/url] cheap pills
  • mtaletolgy 08-03-2018 at 14:00 why men need cheap generic can you take with diabetes [url=]cheap generic [/url] buy
  • vtaletcnzx 09-03-2018 at 13:26 free 30 day trial buy generic online buy canada pharmacy [url=] canada[/url] 5mg best price
  • wtaletinvh 10-03-2018 at 17:49 levitra and price cheap pills [url=] pills online[/url] without prescription
  • ttaletceqw 11-03-2018 at 01:21 side effects of daily coupon how long before works [url=] pills online[/url] buy cheap
  • etaletdtxj 11-03-2018 at 05:23 pfizer brand online cheap 100mg walgreens price [url=]womens pill[/url] buy cheap
  • qtaletezqt 11-03-2018 at 12:25 want to buy cheap order without prescription [url=] pills[/url] buy
  • ptaletljjv 11-03-2018 at 16:33 generic name usa safe places to buy online [url=] pill[/url] order online canada
  • htaletidah 11-03-2018 at 23:03 how much does a 30 day supply of cost 5mg best price warnings [url=] 20mg price[/url] buy generic online
  • htaletgqye 12-03-2018 at 10:38 why do men take generic canada how long to wait after taking [url=]order online canada[/url] cheap generic online
  • ptaletjvrs 13-03-2018 at 04:34 40mg order online usa generic price [url=]order online[/url] 5mg
  • ytaletshpz 17-03-2018 at 16:12 does increase sex drive buy where to buy in stores [url=] 100mg price[/url] generic online
  • etaletkufx 18-03-2018 at 05:23 where can i get online buy online cheap 20 mg instructions [url=] 5mg[/url] online usa

Add comment

  • Your e-mail address will not be published.