Gustavo Bernal Torres
Pledges for Emissions Reductions in the 100 Largest Cities Across the US
A Brookings Institution analysis of U.S. cities' pledges to cut carbon emissions reveals mixed results.-
"Given the increasing importance of “bottom-up” action on climate, this analysis inventories the various GHG reduction pledges and commitments of the 100 largest U.S. cities"
The report draws five major conclusions about an emissions-pledge system that is generating genuine but partial climate actions:
Slightly less than half of large U.S. cities have established GHG reduction targets.
Overall, roughly 40 million people (about 12% of the total U.S. population and 60% of the total population of the 100 largest U.S. cities) live in bigger cities with active and fully-formed climate action plans.
Collectively, the total annual reduction in emissions achieved by the 45 cities with both targets and completed inventories (in their respective target years) would equate to approximately 365 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).
Despite genuine achievements in many cities, roughly two-thirds of cities are currently lagging their targeted emission levels.
Overall, the development and implementation of city GHG plans and pledges — while important and encouraging — leaves room for improvement in terms of reach, rigor, and ambition.