21 U.S. Cities Will Measure, Disclose CO2 Emissions

Over 70% of total global emissions are generated from cities.

Twenty-one U.S. cities said they will measure their greenhouse gases emissions, in a joint effort to seek ways to halt and reverse global warming. The cities, which made their announcement on August 10, will resort to a measuring system for CO2 and other greenhouse gases already in used by some 1,300 companies worldwide who voluntarily disclose their emissions.

"Over 70% of total global emissions are generated from cities, and if you don't measure these emissions, you cannot manage them," Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) CEO Paul Dickinson said.

Based in London and founded in 2000, the CDP represents some 385 global institutional investors, with a combined asset base of more than $57 trillion. In the U.S. cities project, the CDP teams up with ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, a 450-member U.S. group of local governments seeking deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and tangible improvements in local sustainability.

Each of the 21 parcitipating cities in the CDP-ICLEI partnership will collect carbon emission data within their jurisdictions' operations, including fire department, ambulance and police services, municipal buildings, waste transport and other services. They will follow CDP systems to assess and disclose climate change-related risks and opportunities relating to the whole city, comparing their results with other cities to get a complete picture of their greenhouse gas emissions.

"This partnership between the world's major corporations and, increasingly, its cities, highlights the importance of the cooperative action needed to successfully counter climate change," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Dickenson said other major U.S .cities such as Los Angeles were considering joining the CDP program, adding that he hoped European cities like Paris would eventually come on board.

More than 20% of the world's top 500 companies refuse to disclose their CO2 emissions, according to environmental groups.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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