There are 42 major cities in the world that are 100 per cent powered by renewables, according to a new interactive map released by the CDP. A further 59 are at least 70 per cent renewable-powered, including Hobart, the only Australian city to make the list.
Other cities named in the region were Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand, with all cities deriving most of their power from hydro.
The list only includes data that has been provided to the CDP, so there are many cities that aren’t on the list, as the CDP only holds data on 570 cities globally. For example, all New Zealand cities generate more than 70 per cent of energy from renewables.
Nonetheless the data from CDP shows a sharp uptick in cities meeting or committing to renewable goals, with more than double hitting the 70 per cent target compared to 2015. The data was also released at the same time the UK100 network of local government leaders announced that more than 80 UK towns and cities would commit to 100 per cent renewable targets by 2050, including Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and 16 London boroughs. In Australia Canberra and Adelaide have plans to join the ranks.
The majority of cities documented were generating renewable electricity with hydropower (275), followed by wind (189), solar (184), biomass (164) and geothermal (65).
The data was released ahead of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change meeting to be held on 5 March in Edmonton, Canada, where leaders will discuss how cities can help tackle climate change.
CDP director of cities Kyra Appleby said there was enormous potential for cities to lead the creation of a sustainable economy, representing 70 per cent of energy-related CO2 emission.
“Reassuringly, our data shows much commitment and ambition,” she said.
“Cities not only want to shift to renewable energy but, most importantly – they can. We urge all cities to disclose to us, work together to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and prioritise the development of ambitious renewable energy procurement strategies. The time to act is now.”
Burlington in Vermont, US was one of the cities generating 100 per cent renewable energy from wind, solar, hydro, and biomass, with the city owning its own hydroelectricity utility and citywide grid.
Burlington mayor Miro Weinberger said the city was proud to be the first US city to get to 100 per cent renewables.
“Through our diverse mix of biomass, hydro, wind, and solar, we have seen first-hand that renewable energy boosts our local economy and creates a healthier place to work, live, and raise a family,” Mr Weinberger said.
“We encourage other cities around the globe to follow our innovative path as we all work toward a more sustainable energy future.”