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Leicester one of 105 cities globally to score an ‘A’ rating for leading climate action

Published on Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Victoria Park in autumn

LEICESTER has been recognised as a global leader on climate action and transparency, achieving a place on CDP’s 'Cities A List'.

Last year, 43 cities were recognised for their climate leadership and transparency, compared to 105 this year, 65% of which are new arrivals.

CDP is once again publishing its Cities A List to demonstrate how cities are stepping up to the helm, leading on ambitious and urgent climate action. In 2019, CDP scored cities A (Leadership), B (Management), C, (Awareness) and D (Disclosure) based on completeness and quality of their data, and the level of action taken.

To score an A, a city must have a city-wide emissions inventory, have set an emissions reduction target, published a climate action plan and have completed a climate adaptation plan to demonstrate how it will tackle climate hazards now and in the future among other actions.

Analysis has shown that on average cities on the A List are taking over three times as many climate actions as non-A List cities. This represents five times as many actions to cut emissions and curb future warming, and twice as many to adapt to current climate hazards, from flooding to extreme heatwaves.

Kyra Appleby, Global Director for Cities, States and Regions at CDP said: “In the year of COP 26, the world’s attention is turned to state governments to ratchet up their carbon reduction commitments. Cities, however, are uniquely placed to deliver urgent action. These 105 – including Leicester – demonstrate how, setting an example for others to follow, and we congratulate them for their leadership.”

Leicester has been recognised for its actions in the last reporting year to develop robust climate change strategies, track and act to limit and reduce emissions, assess and mitigate climate risks and transparently report this information in its 2019 disclosure to CDP.

Leicester has already almost halved its carbon footprint compared to 1990 levels. The city council has also managed to reduce its own carbon emissions by over 45% in a decade.

Just some of the actions taken to achieve this include:

• The ongoing, multimillion-pound investment in the Connecting Leicester scheme to provide safe and attractive routes for more people to commute by foot or bike.

• Replacing all of streetlights with white LEDs, reducing their carbon footprint by almost 60%.

• Being one of the first UK authorities to install a district heating system that supplies low cost, low-carbon energy to 3,000 homes, the University of Leicester, and 20 council buildings.

• Constructing the city’s first carbon neutral classroom block, which will provide space for 120 primary school children.

• Work with the Environment Agency on a major programme of flood risk management work that is heling to protect thousands of homes across the city. This includes the creation of Ellis Meadows – an award-winning 20-acre park and nature reserve.

Leicester City Council also formally declared a climate emergency in February 2019. It is now preparing to launch a new action plan following Leicester’s Climate Conversation, a major consultation to help shape how the city responds to the climate emergency and becomes carbon neutral.

Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and transportation, said: “We’re very proud to be recognised by CDP for our work on tackling the climate crisis and reducing our carbon footprint.

“As a council, we are already working hard to cut our own emissions and to support local people, schools and business to make the changes needed to help reduce the city’s overall carbon footprint.

“We’ve made excellent progress, but we know more needs to be done. Responding to the climate emergency will mean making big changes to the way we all live and work. We need to increase our actions and aim to become a carbon neutral city as quickly as possible.”

The science tells us that global emissions must be halved by 2030 to have a one in two chance of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

The full A List of cities is published here.

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About CDP

CDP is a global non-profit that drives companies, cities and governments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard water resources and protect forests. Voted number one climate research provider by investors and working with institutional investors with assets of US$96 trillion, we leverage investor and buyer power to motivate companies to disclose and manage their environmental impacts. Over 8,400 companies with over 50% of global market capitalization disclosed environmental data through CDP in 2019. This is in addition to the over 920 cities, states and regions who disclosed, making CDP’s platform one of the richest sources of information globally on how companies and governments are driving environmental change. CDP, formerly Carbon Disclosure Project, is a founding member of the We Mean Business Coalition. Visit www.cdp.net to find out more.