CDP: Ann Arbor is ‘A List’ city for climate leadership

Tree Town one of 95 cities worldwide named on list

Aerial view of Ann Arbor's Southside. (Oxford Companies)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Tree Town joins a list of cities around the world recognized for their ambitious climate leadership and transparency with environmental action.

The group of 95 “A List” cities for 2021 comes from CDP, an international nonprofit organization that looked at the environmental impacts of more than 1,000 cities around the world.

“I’m so delighted that the people of Ann Arbor are committed to being climate action leaders,” said Mayor Christopher Taylor in a release. “We have a plan to transform our community to carbon neutrality in a way that is equitable, urgent, and effective. We recognize that it is our moral obligation to do our part.”

Although there was a sharp increase in cities receiving a rating between 2020 and 2021—561 last year compared to 965 cities this year—CDP reported that only 9.8 percent of cities made the “A List.”

To receive an “A” rating, cities must have a publically available citywide emissions inventory, emissions reduction and renewable energy targets, and have published a climate action plan. Cities on the list also completed a climate risk and vulnerability assessment and created climate adaption plans showing how they plan to eliminate climate hazards, the City of Ann Arbor said.

Tree Town has set aggressive climate goals for itself. In 2020, Ann Arbor City Council unanimously adopted A2ZERO, an action plan for achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. The plan has seven strategies and 44 actions for reducing climate pollution. It includes social equity as a core principle so as to be more equitable for the city’s vulnerable populations.

“A List cities are demonstrating their climate leadership through concerted and effective action, just as national governments were asked to do at COP26. Ann Arbor, and the other 94 cities on this year’s A List, are celebrated for showing that urgent and impactful climate action - from ambitious emissions reduction targets to building resilience against climate change - is achievable at a global level, and in cities with different climate realities and priorities. However, this action needs to go further and faster to meet the new targets agreed at COP26” the city said.

Other “A List” cities include Athens, Berlin, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo, Paris, Sydney, Taipei, Toronto, Tokyo, Yokohama and several within the United States.

Find the full list here.

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.