These Are The World’s Greenest Cities

By Jeremy HodgesJeremy Hodges and Lauren LeatherbyLauren Leatherby

Cities around the globe are going green. Over 100 cities from Addis Ababa to Auckland use more than 70 percent renewables in their energy mix, according to CDP research. The places where populations are at their most dense and pollution is at its highest are doing their bit to battle rising global temperatures by turning to hydro, geothermal, solar and wind to keep the lights on.

Since the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to below 2 degrees, city leaders have improved their environmental reporting and set firm emissions reductions targets, CDP said. In the U.S. 58 cities and towns, including Atlanta and San Diego, have committed to move to 100 percent clean energy. Meanwhile Burlington, Vermont, claims to be the first city in the country to get its energy from entirely renewable sources.

Percentage of electricity in the greenest cities that comes from renewables

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70 to 79 percent

80 to 89 percent

90 to 99 percent

100 percent

Only a handful of the more than 100 North American cities that reported their energy mix to CDP use at least 70 percent renewable energy, while a majority of Latin American cities that reported passed that threshold.

“Many cities in the developing world have capitalized on their local natural resources. This pioneering activity has largely been driven by local economic needs and political will,” said Kyra Appleby, director of cities at CDP.

“However, we’ve seen the production of electricity from hydropower drop drastically from one year to the next due to drought in some Latin American regions. Cities in the developing world, especially in Latin America, are beginning to understand the need for diverse energy for truly sustainable power generation that truly considers the local environment and population,” she said.