Low-carbon City

A low-carbon city recognizes its responsibility to act. It pursues a step-by-step approach towards carbon neutrality, urban resilience and energy security, supporting an active green economy and stable green infrastructure.

Our Programs

ICLEI has been playing an integral role in global efforts in climate change mitigation, adaptation and advocacy since the 1990s. Some of the overarching themes in our Low Carbon City agenda include air quality, greenhouse gas emissions accounting and inventories, and low carbon development.



GreenClimateCities®(GCC) program
The GCC is a comprehensive program on climate change mitigation (reducing greenhouse gas emissions) building on 20 years of ICLEI experience. It covers three phases: analyze, act and accelerate, offering a comprehensive methodology and tools. GCC is a network, offers capacity building and exchange opportunities, as well as a wide range of tools and guidance tailor-made to local government requirements.

Urban Low Emission Development Strategies (Urban-LEDS)
Implemented with UN-Habitat and funded by the European Commission, the Urban-LEDS project is ICLEI's global climate flagship project under the Low-Carbon City Agenda- It promotes low emission urban development strategies in model and satellite cities in Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa, with support from European cities.

Energy-safe Cities Initiative
Energy-safe Cities Initiative aims to initiate a rapid transformation to low-carbon, resilient, and safe urban energy systems in East Asian local governments. Through this multi-year, multi-stage program, local governments from the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia, and the Republic of Korea shall explore locally specific and sustainable pathways for attaining 100% renewable energy supply systems by the year 2030.


Our Tools and Services

ICLEI helps cities to adapt to and mitigate climate change by offering standards and guidelines for accounting and reporting greenhouse gas emissions, and planning for future local climate actions.



carbonn®Climate Registry (cCR)
The carbonn® Climate Registry (cCR) is a free global reporting platform for climate action by local and subnational governments – cities, towns, states, provinces and regions. It has been designed to support and facilitate structured reporting on climate change mitigation and adaptation, also supporting vertically integrated reporting between different levels of government. It currently supports reporting of Measurable, Reportable and Verifiable (MRV) climate action of 14 initiatives.

Japan carbonn® Climate Registry
The Japan carbonn® Climate Registry, with reporting by 124 Japanese cities and prefectures, is the first national supplement to the global carbonn® Climate Registry. Regular voluntary reporting of climate actions and commitments will support tracking effective and tangible local measures, enhancing transparency and accountability of local governments for their climate practices.

Global Protocol for Community-Scale GHG Emissions Inventories (GPC)

Developed jointly with the World Resources Institute, World Bank Group, UN-HABITAT and UNEP, the GPC harmonizes greenhouse gas emissions measurement and reporting processes for cities of all sizes and geographies, and allows them to plan and finance climate action.

Solutions Gateway
The Solutions Gateway is an online platform for Local Governments to provide potential solutions for Low Emission Development of the community, which also enhance local sustainable development. By taking an integrated approach, proposed Solutions include information on the enabling and multiplying actions to optimize their effectiveness and generate synergies.

Pool of Experts
The Pool of Experts is a global multi-disciplinary network of professionals, who can offer expertise in Low Emission Development to Local Governments – from strategies to technical sectoral support, from financing guidance to capacity building. It is free and open to recognized experts from business, industry, NGOs, research & academia, and all levels of government.

Covenant capaCITY Training Platform
A training platform developed for local governments by experts, under guidance of ICLEI Europe, it addresses 8 topics relevant to Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) - from greenhouse gas inventories to stakeholder involvement and green public procurement.

Online Toolbox of Methodologies on Climate and Energy
Run by by ICLEI Europe, this growing collection of resources is valuable for all local governments addressing climate and energy.

Harmonized Emissions Analysis Tool plus (HEAT+)
The Harmonized Emissions Analysis Tool plus (HEAT+) is ICLEI’s multilingual online GHG emissions inventory tool to help local governments account Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, Common Air Pollutants (CAP) and other Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). It supports recording and forecasting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for local government operations and the whole community, laying the groundwork for informed decision-making in formulating action plans. HEAT+ is GPC compliant. 

ClearPath™ is the leading online software platform for completing greenhouse gas inventories, forecasts, climate action plans, and monitoring at the community-wide or government operations scale. Operated by ICLEI US, as part of ICLEI’s partnership with the Compact of Mayors, the platform’s community-scale inventory tool (ClearPath Basic) is available to any US local government for free, soon to be rolled out globally. ClearPath is GPC compliant. 

Compact of Mayors
The Compact of Mayors is a global coalition of mayors and city officials committing to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, enhance resilience to climate change and track their progress publicly. It is an agreement by city networks – and then by their members – to tackle climate change in a consistent and complimentary manner to national efforts. The Compact provides a space to publicly recognize the impact of cities’ collective actions through standardized measurement of emissions and climate risk, and consistent, public reporting of their efforts. 

Compact of States and Regions
The Compact of States and Regions is a partnership between The Climate Group, CDP, R20 and nrg4SD to reduce emissions in the post-2015 period. It is supported by ICLEI, the UN, Climate-KIC, the Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE), and ENCORE. ICLEI is the provider of the carbonn® Climate Registry (cCR), an officially recognized reporting platform for this Compact.

The Covenant of Mayors
The Covenant of Mayors is the mainstream European movement involving local and regional authorities, voluntarily committing to increasing energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources on their territories. By their commitment, Covenant signatories aim to meet and exceed the European Union 20% CO2 reduction objective by 2020. 

One Planet City Challenge
Previously known as the Earth Hour City Challenge, the One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) run by WWF, in collaboration with ICLEI, celebrates cities that implement innovative and ambitious climate actions, acting with urgency to deliver on the 2015 Paris Agreement. Combined with a focus on climate actions and related sustainability initiatives, cities are also encouraged to focus on improving social equity and quality of life. To date, the OPCC has engaged over 320 cities in more than 25 countries across 5 continents – and its outreach and engagement continues to expand.

Mexico City Pact
The Mexico City Pact - the Global Cities Covenant on Climate – is a voluntary initiative of mayors and local authority representatives that consists of ten action points. By signing the Pact, signatories commit to advance local climate action, including emissions reduction, adaptation to the impacts of climate change and fostering city-to-city cooperation. The signatories report on the carbonn® Climate Registry. 




Our Networks

ICLEI helps Members exchange experience of and expertise in local climate actions through the World Mayors Council on Climate Change, and through recent initiatives such as the GreenClimateCities network and the Local Renewables network.


World Mayors Council on Climate Change
An alliance consisting of over 80 committed local government leaders concerned about climate change, the Council advocates for enhanced engagement of local governments in multilateral efforts on climate change and related sustainability issues. Membership is open to Mayors and equivalent leaders of municipal levels of government.

Building Efficieny Accelerator (BEA) 
The UN Sustainable Energy for All (SEALL) Building Efficiency Accelerator, is an international multi-stakeholder partnership and network helping cities and sub-national governments speed up the adoption of best-practice policies and implementation of projects on energy efficiency in buildings. The partnership supports private and public sector collaboration with the goal to double the rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030 in the building sector of each participating city or sub-national jurisdiction. As a BEA partner, ICLEI supports local governments through intensive capacity building, guidance and tailored support to assess priorities, implement and track actions, and exchange lessons learned. 


Our Advocacy

Launched in 2007, the Local Government Climate Roadmap is a broad coalition of local government network that mirrors the UN Climate Change Roadmap and aims to ensure that a strong and ambitious global climate regime is designed and implemented in the post-2015 period which fully recognizes, engages and empowers local and subnational governments. ICLEI facilitates this Roadmap process. 

ICLEI is the focal point of the Local Government and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Constituency to the UNFCCC, having played this role since COP1 in 1995. This Constituency gathers networks of local and subnational governments that are accredited to the UNFCCC as observers. Together with business (BINGOs) and environmental NGOs (ENGOs), it was one of the first observer groups following the UNFCCC process. 

Learn more about our Partners.


Our Commitments

Launched at the World Mayors Summit on Climate in Mexico in 2010, the Global Cities Covenant on Climate (Mexico City Pact) aims to scale up cities’ role and efforts in combating climate change globally. Signatories voluntarily commit to 10 action points to advance local climate action, including the reduction of emissions, adaptation to the impacts of climate change and fostering city-to-city cooperation. As of February 2012, around 250 cities from 50 countries are signatories to the Pact.


carbonn Center - The Bonn Center for Local Climate Action and Reporting

Coordinated by the Bonn Center for Local Climate Action and Reporting (carbonn Center), the ICLEI's Low Carbon City Agenda offers local governments guidance, tools and technical support, as well as a global reporting platform for cities.

Email us at: carbonn@iclei.org

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