The world’s biggest cities boast yearly energy savings of up to US$13 million

20 June 2013

LONDON: The world’s biggest cities have been taking climate action into their own hands despite lack of a global deal, with many cities now reporting yearly energy savings of up to US$13 million, according to new research which spotlights Manchester and Sao Paulo as cities enjoying great economic payback for low carbon investment.

The report by CDP and C40 Cities, Wealthier, healthier cities, uses analysis by AECOM of the carbon and water strategies that have been shared by 110 urban areas through CDP’s cities program, and are displayed in this infographic.

Big energy savings

Nine of the cities in the report shared collective savings of US$40 million, with the biggest savings coming from improved energy efficiency -- an action that half of the cities are taking to reduce emissions.

Another key finding from the report is that many of the cities are seeing strong economic results, with authors stating that 62% of their actions have the potential to attract business investment, using both Sao Paulo in Brazil and Manchester in the UK as examples of cities with rapidly expanding clean technology sectors.


Conor Riffle, head of CDP’s cities program, says: “Cities are hotbeds of innovation, and local governments have been quick to implement many new ways to combat and adapt to climate change and resource scarcity. These leading cities are enjoying multiple paybacks for their economies and communities. National governments should pay close attention.”

Gary Lawrence, chief sustainability officer at AECOM, says: “We’re seeing expanded participation and evidence of cities better understanding risk avoidance, resilience, and capital investment strategies that create more value, address concerns for human health and link to stronger economic outcomes.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, says: “Saving energy and using our resources more efficiently is absolutely vital to the sustainability, diversity and full recovery of this city’s economy. The green sector represents a new area of expertise and innovation for London, providing jobs and attracting investment while significant CO2 reductions can save businesses substantial sums, improve air quality and make the capital a better place to live and work."

C40 network

Nearly every city in the C40 network of global cities that are taking action on climate change have participated in the CDP program this year. Rohit T. Aggarwala, Special Advisor to the C40 Chair, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, says: “Mayors are dealing head-on with the need to safeguard their populations, infrastructure and economies from the increasingly severe impacts of climate change. By reporting on their progress C40 Cities are holding themselves and each other accountable for meeting the targets they set, and continuing to demonstrate unprecedented, global leadership in taking real, measurable actions.”

Read CDP and C40 Cities: Wealthier, healthier cities report.

Related news:

Mayor Bloomberg says New York is still the greenest, greatest city

Sustainable innovation in cities PART 3: The challenge of transportation

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