Birmingham makes the ‘A List’ of cities worldwide for climate action from global group

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Birmingham has been recognised as one of 119 cities across the globe that is taking bold leadership on environmental action and transparency

Globally-recognised non-profit environment impact group CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) annually publishes its ‘A List’ – cities that build climate momentum.

The cities selected are acknowledged for taking four times as many climate mitigation and adaptation measures as non-A Listers. Birmingham is one of just 13% of cities that were scored in 2023 to receive an A score.

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The city previously had a B rating. It declared a climate emergency in 2019 with the city council committing to reducing carbon emissions. The authority acknowledged that two thirds of Birmingham’s greenhouse gas emissions were caused by heating of buildings. 

The city has the highest total number of households living in fuel poverty and the greatest proportion of househouds, according to National Energy Action. Birmingham has 23.2% of households in fuel poverty (was 21.8%) followed by Stoke on Trent with 22.9% (was 22.1%) - fuel poverty is where a household needs ot spend at least 10% of its income on maintaining a staisfatory heating regime.

How do cities get an A List rating from CDP?

CDP’s Cities A List is based on environmental data disclosed by cities to CDP-ICLEI Track. The listing is designed to encourage and support cities to ramp up their climate action and ambition, 

To score an A, among other actions, a city must disclose publicly through CDP-ICLEI Track, have a city-wide emissions inventory and have published a climate action plan. 

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It must also complete a climate risk and vulnerability assessment and the council’s production of one for the city will have been a key factor in reaching A status.  Many A-List cities are also taking a variety of other leadership actions, including political commitment to tackle climate change.

Birmingham skylineBirmingham skyline
Birmingham skyline | USII BELL - stock.adobe.com

‘It’s fantastic news’ - Birmingham City Council reacts to new rating for climate action 

Cllr Majid Mahmood, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “It is fantastic to see this recognition from such a respected global organisation and it reflects the hard work across the council and city.

“The city council declared a climate emergency in 2019, committing us to take action to reduce the city’s carbon emissions and limit the climate crisis, and we take that responsibility very seriously.

“While we can only directly control our own emissions, we can also use our wide-ranging powers to influence others and we are actively engaging with businesses and citizens, with a series of events to coincide with COP28.

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“One of the key factors is heating of buildings, which account for around two thirds of greenhouse gas emissions across Birmingham, with the majority of emissions resulting from the burning of gas for space and water heating. Alongside efforts to support building decarbonisation across the city, the council is developing and delivering programmes to help decarbonise its own assets and housing stock.

“The climate crisis is one of the single biggest challenges facing our city and we know there is much more to do, so we will work with everyone - our citizens, neighbourhoods, and businesses - to build a greener, healthier and fairer future for all.”

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