Capital awarded highest global rating for climate action

Edinburgh has become the only city in Scotland to be awarded with the highest rating for climate action.

Edinburgh is one of just 95 cities world-wide to be placed on the 2021 A List by CDP – an international charity which runs the world’s largest environmental disclosure system for companies and cities.

The coveted A-List position recognises that Edinburgh has:

  • Publicly disclosed a city-wide emissions inventory
  • Set an emissions reduction target – for Edinburgh, this is a target of net zero emissions by 2030
  • Published a climate action plan, Edinburgh’s 2030 Climate Strategy, which sets the strategic direction for reducing the city’s emissions and becoming resilient to future climate change 
  • Completed, and is in the process of updating a climate risk and vulnerability assessment
  • A climate adaptation plan, showing how it plans to tackle the unavoidable impacts of climate change, which will be updated and extended to respond to the risk assessment

By publicly disclosing Edinburgh’s environmental data through CDP, the city’s performance is benchmarked against other cities and regions across the world, helping to highlight areas of action and improvement.

Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council Adam McVey said:

This international recognition is a fantastic accomplishment for Edinburgh. It recognises how transparent we’re being about the action we’re taking as a city to tackle climate change as well as the hard work which is already underway to support our 2030 target.

Net-zero redevelopments like Granton Waterfront, improving our parks, food growing sites and urban forests have all delivered action as a city to help deliver net-zero.

Whilst COP26 may have just ended, with some disappointment on progress agreed by National Governments, Edinburgh’s work continues to build on the progress we’ve already made. And the strength of Edinburgh’s approach has been endorsed with being listed one of just 95 cities in the world to be awarded an A-list status by the CPD, the only city in Scotland.

Our works as a council and as a city will continue over the coming months and years to help deliver a net zero, climate ready capital by 2030 and we know that’s what our residents are demanding of us.

Depute leader Cammy Day said:

This recognition from CDP is welcome encouragement and reinforces that we’re on the right track.

As Scotland’s capital, we’re delivering innovative and ground-breaking projects which will encourage change at the speed and scale needed to ensure our young people inherit a thriving, climate ready, sustainable city which is a cleaner and healthier place to live and work.

However we can’t afford to become complacent and we need to keep on driving city-wide climate action and change, whilst ensuring that no one is left behind to help Edinburgh meet its climate targets.

Fewer than 1/10 cities reporting to CDP made the A List in 2021. Findings from the charity show that A List cities take twice as many mitigation and adaptation measures as non-A List cities, and also identify more than twice as many opportunities - such as the development of sustainable transport sectors and clean technology businesses.

About CDP  
CDP is a global non-profit that runs the world’s environmental disclosure system for companies, cities, states and regions. Founded in 2000 and working with more than 590 investors with over $110 trillion in assets, CDP pioneered using capital markets and corporate procurement to motivate companies to disclose their environmental impacts, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard water resources and protect forests.     

Over 14,000 organizations around the world disclosed data through CDP in 2021, including more than 13,000 companies worth over 64% of global market capitalization, and over 1,100 cities, states and regions. CDP is a founding member of the Science Based Targets initiative, We Mean Business Coalition, The Investor Agenda and the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative. Visit or follow us @CDP to find out more.

Published: November 17th 2021