List Belfast as the capital of climate action

Belfast City Hall

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

CDP ranks cities around the globe in terms of environmental action and transparency.

Belfast appears for the first time on the global list, which includes New York, Paris and Melbourne.

The implementation of the Million Tree Programme, with 40,000 planted in Belfast in the first year, helped it achieve a place among the highest ranking cities.

“What’s really exciting for Belfast is that this is only the second year that Belfast has been exposed to CDP and CLEI-Track,” said CDP senior partner Laura Parry.

“So it’s a real achievement for them to reach 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 activities, including being publicly disclosed through the CDP-ICLEI Track, an international climate reporting platform.

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

Other actions taken included a Tidal Flood Mitigation Scheme and a focus in its climate planning on direct transition – the belief that no one should lose out from the transition to a net-zero economy.

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

Laura Parry said that despite Belfast making the list, climate action was a “continuing challenge”.

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

“They account 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 that cities play this role, and that’s really the idea of ​​the CDP A-list, that we recognize those cities that are playing that part and promote them all over the world.”

For Belfast, it’s one thing to make the list – it’s another to stay there.

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

“It’s an ongoing challenge. And we’re raising the stakes every year, so we make sure the scoring methodology matches the action that’s needed every year, and that can change a little bit from time to time .

“So it is certainly not the case that the work is done for Belfast.

“Obviously we are very proud that they have achieved it this year, but they will have work to do in terms of implementing climate action, particularly ensuring that they stay on track with their ambitious targets, and do make sure they take really important actions, like including the public in their climate action planning, as time goes on.”

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