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Belfast listed as leading climate-action city

Published on 2023-06-03 08:25:38 source:NBC News

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

CDP ranks cities across the globe in environmental action and transparency.

Belfast has featured for the first time in the global list, which includes New York, Paris and Melbourne.

The implementation of the One Million Trees Programme, with 40,000 being planted in Belfast in the first year, helped it secure a place among the top ranking cities..

"What's really exciting for Belfast is this is only the second year that Belfast has been disclosing to CDP and ICLEI-Track," said senior manager at CDP, Laura Parry.

"So it's a real achievement for them to have reached the A-list so quickly."

Lord Mayor of Belfast, councillor Tina Black said the announcement was "fantastic news for Belfast".

"Action on climate is something we must all take responsibility for; it is not up to one organisation or group of individuals - we all have a role to play, and I'm pleased that we are getting recognition for our efforts.

"As a council we need to harness the momentum from our involvement in COP26 last year and build on the collaborative work that is already underway - including our continued lead participation in the Belfast Climate Commission," she added.

Belfast is one of 19 UK cities included on the list.

Cities are scored from A to D - to reach an A ranking, a city must complete a number of actions, including disclosing publicly through CDP-ICLEI Track, an international climate reporting platform.

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

Among the other actions taken were a Tidal Flood Alleviation Scheme and a focus in its climate planning on just transition - the belief that no-one should lose out in the move to a net-zero economy.

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

"They account for around 70% of global emissions and over half of the world's population live in city," 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 who are playing that part and champion them around the world."

For Belfast, reaching the list is one thing - staying there is another.

"This is not a job that's done," said Ms Parry.

"It's a challenge that continues. And we up the stakes each year, so we make sure that the scoring methodology is in line with the action that's needed every year, and that can change a little bit from time to time.

"So this is definitely not the case that the work is done for Belfast.

"We're obviously really proud that they've made it this year, but there will be work for them to do in terms of implementing for climate action, particularly making sure that they stay on track with their ambitious targets, and make sure that they do really important actions, like including the community in their climate action planning, as time goes on."

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