Reykjavík receives top marks in climate matters in 2023

Climate Change Environment

Loftslagsmál

Reykjavík receives the highest recognition and top score for being a leading city in climate matters internationally. More than 900 cities were graded, but Reykjavík is one of 119 cities that received an A grade for transparency in actions against climate change from the independent evaluation company CDP. Only 13% of cities rated for 2023 received an A.

"The rating is an independent assessment of Reykjavík's climate plans and how we are aiming." It is key to know that we are on the right track. I am very proud that we are among the hundred most progressive cities in the world in terms of climate because this rating is not given by default. This encourages us to continue to follow the transport agreement of the capital region and other key measures to make the capital region carbon neutral, as all municipalities in the region have jointly agreed. The transport agreement is the largest single project to deal with the climate impact of transport, which is the aspect of the climate issues that we have the longest to deal with. Building apartments and services close to excellent public transport is the other main point, otherwise known as transport-oriented planning. These projects are part of the Green Plan, which is Reykjavík's overall vision for the future," says Reykjavík Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson.

    The main success of recent seasons has been in the field of waste, where increased sorting, less landfilling and the introduction of the Gas and composting plant in Álfsnes have made the biggest difference.

    "The main success of recent seasons has been in the field of waste, where increased sorting, less landfilling and the introduction of the Gas and composting plant in Álfsnes have made the biggest difference. We need to continue on that path and cooperate closely on the next steps in the business world. As in transport, the key to success is good cooperation, and next year we want to get as many people as possible to take part in shaping the Climate Agreement for Reykjavík. "Many people need to get involved," says the mayor.

    Climate leadership

    To receive an A rating, cities must have disclosed the city's societal greenhouse gas emissions, set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, set targets for renewable energy and published a climate action plan. Cities that receive a grade A must also have completed a risk assessment regarding adaptation to climate change and presented how the effects of climate change will be met. Many A-rated cities demonstrate multiple forms of climate leadership and enjoy political support for climate action.

    The city of Reykjavík meets exactly these requirements. The city has included climate issues and adaptation to climate change in its Master Plan, has published information on greenhouse gas emissions in Reykjavík for years, and since 2016 has had the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2040. Reykjavík supports the Paris Agreement's goal of keeping global warming below 1.5 °C. The nations of the world will gather at the beginning of December at the United Nations Climate Conference, COP28, to take stock of the goals of the Paris Agreement and set a strategy for the next steps regarding the world's climate issues.

    The requirements have been increased

    Reykjavík City published its first climate action plan in 2016, issued a new action plan for the years 2021-2025 and a new annexe to Reykjavík's Master Plan with a climate focus was approved at the beginning of 2022. Reykjavík City is also one of the 112 participating cities in the European Partnership for Carbon Neutral and Smart Cities 2030 which requires even more ambitious action and broad cooperation.

    The road trip to becoming a carbon-neutral city is part of the city's Green Plan, which is an investment plan for the next 10 years. A large part of the investments is due to projects and the development of neighbourhoods and infrastructure that concern the road towards carbon neutrality, reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, increasing carbon sequestration and adapting the city to the effects of climate change.

      Requirements to receive the grade A are under constant review and have been increased. The result is that less than 13% of cities receive the grade A.

      In order to keep global warming below 1.5°C, ambitious actions are needed, which is why the requirements to receive the grade A are constantly reviewed and have been increased. The result is that less than 13% of cities receive the grade A.

      108 million people live in the cities on the top list
      Cities on the top list are climate leaders, generally taking twice as much targeted action against climate risk as cities that don't achieve an A grade and are similarly spotting twice as many climate opportunities, according to CDP.

      The cities are all over the world; from Canada to Japan and from South Africa to New Zealand. A total of 108 million people live in these cities, which is only a small part of the 4.2 billion people who live in cities worldwide.

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