Belfast listed as a leading city for climate action

Belfast City Hall

Belfast City Hall

Belfast has been listed as one of the world’s leading cities for climate action by a charity.

CDP ranks cities around the world for environmental action and transparency.

Belfast is listed for the first time in the world, including New York, Paris and Melbourne.

The implementation of the One Million Trees programme, with 40,000 trees planted in Belfast in its first year, helped secure it a place among the top-rated cities.

“What’s really exciting for Belfast is that this is only the second year that Belfast is announcing to CDP and ICLEI-Track,” said senior manager at CDP, Laura Parry.

“So it’s quite an achievement for them to be on the A-list so quickly.”

Belfast is one of 19 UK cities on the list.

Cities are scored from A to D – to achieve an A ranking, a city must complete a number of actions, including making it public through CDP-ICLEI Track, an international climate reporting platform.

They must also have a city-wide emissions inventory and have published a climate action plan.

Other actions taken included a tidal flood relief scheme and a focus in climate planning on a just transition – the belief that no one should lose in the transition to a net-zero economy.

Laura Parry said cities play an important role in tackling climate change

Laura Parry said despite Belfast’s success in making the list, climate action is “a challenge that continues”

Ms Parry said cities have an important role to play in tackling climate change.

“They are responsible for about 70% of global emissions and more than half of the world’s population lives in cities,” she said.

“So it’s really important for cities to play this role, and that’s really the idea of ​​the CDP A list, that we recognize those cities that play that role and defend them around the world.”

For Belfast, reaching the list is one thing, staying there is another.

“This is not a job done,” Ms Parry said.

“It’s an ongoing challenge. And we raise the stakes every year, so we make sure the scoring methodology is in line with the action that’s needed every year, and that may change a little bit from time to time.

“So this is definitely not the case that the work is done for Belfast.

“Obviously we’re very proud that they made it this year, but there will be work for them on climate action implementation, especially to make sure they stay on track with their ambitious goals, and make sure they really do important actions, such as involving the community in their climate action planning, as time goes on.”

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