Minneapolis part of ambitious international alliance to reduce greenhouse gas pollution
Minneapolis is one of 17 cities across nine nations that have launched the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, a collaboration of global cities committed to reducing greenhouse gas pollution by 80 percent or more by 2050 or sooner. The Minneapolis City Council adopted this goal — the most ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction target undertaken by any cities across the globe – in April 2014, as have the State of Minnesota and Hennepin County. See Minneapolis’ Climate Action Plan for the local action Minneapolis is taking.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 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 greenhouse gas pollution by 80 percent below 2000 levels by 2050. Across the world and here in Minneapolis, climate change impacts are already being felt through droughts, extreme weather events, disrupted ecosystems, rising sea levels and ocean acidification.
The 17 alliance cities are the eight U.S. cities of Boston; Boulder, Colorado; Minneapolis; New York; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco; Seattle and Washington; and the nine international cities of Berlin; Copenhagen, Denmark; London; Melbourne, Australia; Oslo, Norway; Stockholm; Sydney; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Yokohama, Japan.
Early alliance activities include:
- Developing approaches, analysis and tools to support cities striving for carbon neutrality, and standardizing measurement and verification methodologies for tracking progress.
- Sharing and implementing best practices for achieving transformative deep carbon reduction strategies in urban transportation, energy use and waste systems.
- 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, which are critical to cities’ success.
- Helping alliance member cities demonstrate their leadership and communicate with a common voice.
- Creating a fund that invests in high-potential, City-led projects that develop, test, implement and amplify deep de-carbonization strategies and practices (currently funded at $700,000).
- Sharing best practices and lessons learned with the next wave of cities preparing to adopt deep carbon reduction targets.
The Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance is governed by a steering committee of alliance cities and staffed by the Urban Sustainability Directors Network in partnership with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and Innovation Network for Communities. The alliance’s work is supported by the Kresge Foundation, V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, Summit Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Barr Foundation. For more information visit www.carbonneutralcitiesalliance.org.
Published Mar 27, 2015