What are Climate Action Plans?

  • By: Owen McComasky
  • Date: September 27, 2020
  • Time to read: 2 min.

An International Commitment to Reducing Carbon Emissions

If you’ve read our article on Copenhagen’s ambitious Climate Action Plan, you may already have an inkling as to what a city’s climate action plan is. They are a comprehensive set of plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within a specific region. 


The most recent and famous international deal on climate action is the Paris Agreement, adopted in December 2015. The aim is to stop global temperatures to rise 2°C above the temperature benchmark set before the beginning of the Industrial Revolution”. Reducing greenhouse emission worldwide is the key to achieving this goal. 


Climate action plans can be initiated city-wide, state-wide, or nationwide. With several nations’ leaders (including Trump and Boris Johnson) failing to take responsibility for climate action, we can at least be grateful to city mayors and administrations across the globe who are taking the situation seriously.


The nations with the most impressive action results so far are Costa Rica, Gambia, Morocco and India. Sadly, Russia, the United States and Saudi Arabia are failing to perform. The cities to look out for (and you will read about them here in future posts) are New York, Paris, Barcelona and, you guessed it (and can already read about it here), Copenhagen.


The Key Components of a Climate Action Plan

If you were to look at C40’s Climate Action Planning Framework, you would see the template that many local governments are following to create extensive plans which are:


  • Kept in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement
  • Developed with specific framework components integrated into the plan


The four main components from C40’s framework are:

  • Emissions neutrality
  • Resilience to climate hazards
  • Inclusivity and benefits
  • Governance and collaboration


You will see these key components in almost all climate action plans. From educating & engaging the public and switching to electric buses, to rainwater harvesting and creating incentives for business to go green, climate action plans all find ways in which these components fit the strengths and needs of its citizens and immediate environment.


Where to go from here? Make the time to discover what your city is doing to take action again global warming. This allows you to keep your local government accountable and you may also find some initiatives you could take part in.


Bonus Facts

Did you know…an initiative created by artists, scientists and activists called The Climate Clock is counting down to the calculated time we have left before our “carbon budget” runs out and we can longer keep the global temperature from rising about 1.5°C? Actually, there are two clocks. This second ‘lifeline clock’ displays the percentage of the world’s current energy supply comes from renewable energy. The message is that we need to be running on 100% renewable energy before the clock gets to 0.


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