The essence of global environmental governance is that individual efforts by states are insufficient to address the dangers posed by climate change and environmental degradation. Non-state actors including non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and transnational corporations tend to get most of the attention for advocating action from state-parties or acting in their absence, but cities are increasingly a driving force for sustainable development.
The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a United Kingdom organization with offices around the world, is working to coordinate the efforts of cities and businesses to monitor and manage greenhouse gas emissions and sustainable water use. The CDP works with C40 Cities Climate Research Group, the Clinton Climate Initiative, and their corporate sponsors and advisors include AECOM, Jones Lang LaSalle, and Accenture.
The CDP has released their 2012 Cities Global Report entitled Measurement for Management (a pdf of which is available here) which includes a special report on C40 Cities. As New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg notes in the foreword, “I’ve always believed that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. That truism serves governments and businesses well every day, and it underlines the purpose of the Carbon Disclosure Project.”
The CDP has incentivized thousands of companies and cities across the world’s largest economies to measure and disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, climate change risk, and water strategies. They then put this information at the heart of their business, investment, and policy decision-making. The CDP holds the largest collection of self-reported climate change data. Through their global system, companies, investors, and cities are better able to mitigate risk, capitalize on opportunities and make investment decisions that drive action towards a more sustainable world.