New simpler climate reporting platform launched

25th April 2019 Adam Pitt

Thousands of cities can now share local climate data with the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) simultaneously, after the two organisations launched a shared reporting platform.

The new reporting platform comes just a few months after Cities Today reported that the Global Covenant of Mayors will use a new framework for reporting urban greenhouse gas emissions in cities from 2019.

The open source system will also facilitate reporting to the EU Covenant of Mayors’ My Covenant platform and comes as governments face mounting pressure from the Extinction Rebellion movement and activists like Greta Thunberg, to do more to tackle climate change.

Speaking to Cities Today, Kyra Appleby, Global Director of Cities, States, and Regions at CDP, said the new system will offer “a smoother, cleaner, simpler process” and “give cities more time to focus on their work and spend less time reporting”.

“Our main goal is to make things simpler for cities [and] we hope [this will lead] to more climate action plans, more emissions reductions targets, and hopefully stronger emissions targets as well,” said Appleby.

She confirmed that part of the process of simplifying reporting involved removing irrelevant questions about the administrative structures of city governments, among other things.

Maryke van Staden,
Director of the Bonn Centre for Local Climate Action and Reporting and Manager of the Low Carbon City Agenda at ICLEI

The unified platform is aligned with the new reporting framework at the Global Covenant of Mayors and will be available to all 9,219 members of the international coalition, as well as C40 Cities members, through existing agreements with CDP and ICLEI.

Participants in the WWF One Planet City Challenge will also have access to the platform.

The decision to consolidate the process of reporting climate data has received widespread support from long-term advocates of a simpler system, including Campinas, Stockholm, and Växjö.

Björn Hugosson, Chief Climate Officer at the City of Stockholm explained that “as a city that reports to both CDP and ICLEI, we are thrilled that we will only need to report once through the unified reporting system and our data will be shared with both organisations.”

Meanwhile, other cities are also being encouraged to take the first steps towards disclosing information about emissions and join the 300 cities that have already developed climate action plans.

“We’re capturing a wide spectrum of information that could help advance learning and a better understanding on how to tackle climate change more efficiently,” said Maryke van Staden, Director of the Bonn Centre for Local Climate Action and Reporting and Manager of the Low Carbon City Agenda at ICLEI.

“If we can get a bigger batch of data, we can also show more robust trends,” van Staden concluded.

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