In order to help city leaders make the case for climate action, the joint Ramboll/C40 Cities project team set out to develop a new framework that documents how one climate action could result in a wide array of co-benefits.
This way, city officials will more easily be able to explore and provide evidence on how urban climate action translates into wider impacts for society, health, the economy, and the environment. And how they, ultimately, relate to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
To form a common language, our experts initially developed a shared taxonomy based on extensive desk research and previous studies from C40 and LSE Cities.
From taxonomy to final impacts
Building on the taxonomy, the project team now mapped the wider impacts of climate actions. This culminated in a large intervention logic that allowed to develop the actual impact pathway; in other words, how one (or more) climate action leads to specific outputs with a number of outcomes and positive or negative impacts.
Often the positive impacts will cut across city departments and thus provide the basis for broader scope and funding.
A worldwide collaboration
Although the project was led by Ramboll Management Consulting and C40, the project team collaborated with a variety of institutions and 14 global cities who provided input and feedback throughout the process. This included LSE Cities, ICLEI, and UN Environment as well as staff from Cape Town, New York, Paris, Sydney, Chennai, Seoul, Buenos Aires and more.
The final project deliverable was the report; Urban Climate Action Impacts Framework that was first launched at the 2018 World of Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur with follow-up events in San Francisco as part of the Global Climate Action Summit and in the New York Climate Week later in the year.
The Framework is now available for use by C40 member cities and other interested parties.
Climate Action Impact pathway; An example from New York
Cities which introduce cloudburst planning may start by building cloudburst streets and expanding green areas where flooding from cloudburst events is a known possible risk. These measures can improve water flows or facilitate water retention to reduce. These possible negative impacts are contingent on the occurrence of a flood, however one benefit directly obtained from reduced flood risk is the increase of property value in neighbourhoods where the risk is effectively diminished.
This pathway is based on concrete work in New York by Ramboll with NYC Department of Environmental Protection.