Climate Cities Benchmark

The beginning of a climate protection partnership between cities in the USA and Germany as well as in Japan and Germany is at the forefront of a research and development project that ifeu is conducting together with the European Climate Alliance on behalf of the German Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt). A multilayered benchmark system was stablished that allows for the measuring of success of the local communities climate protection activities. An important step of the project is the active exchange between local governments in Germany and their partner cities in Japan and the USA. The results will be used to initiate, deepen and develop climate protection partnerships between Germany, Japan and the USA.

The project partners ifeu and Climate Alliance are building on their extensive experience in the field of local climate protection. As motivation for the design and further development of climate protection partnerships in each of the three countries, a municipal benchmark system will be developed within the project.

The benchmark system consists of four parts:

  • City Fact Sheet: General and energy relevant data from the city which form the basis for the benchmark.
  • Activity Profile: Illustrates present state and implementation of a city's climate protection activities in the four categories "climate policy", "energy", "traffic" and "waste" in steps from 0 (slightly active) to 4 (exceedingly active).
  • CO2 Emission Display Detailed diagram showing the development of the final energy use and the CO2 emissions of the city according to energy source and sector (industry, commerce, residential, transportation, etc.).
  • Set of Indicators: Absolute characteristics give a transparent overview over the effects of previous climate protection activities and identify areas with room for improvement.

The benchmark had been developed by mid 2007 and subsequently has been tested by cities in the three countries. In February 2009, the project was presented to European cities at the European Union Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW).

In November 2009 the benchmark tool was presented to a wider public at the 9th communal climate protection conference of the climate alliance.