Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance

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Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance
Founded June 2014

Copenhagen, Denmark

Type International organization
Focus Deep carbon reductions, climate change
Area served Cities
Method Peer-to-peer exchange, research,

communication products, innovation fund


The Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance (CNCA or “Alliance”) is a collaboration of leading global cities working to achieve carbon neutrality in the next 10-20 years – the most aggressive GHG reduction targets undertaken anywhere by any city.

While it is possible for cities to achieve their interim carbon reduction targets through incremental improvements to existing systems, achieving carbon neutrality requires radical, transformative changes to core city systems.


The Alliance was born in Copenhagen in June 2014 and now supports the following leading cities:

Our Mission[edit]

CNCA’s mission is to mobilize transformative climate action in cities in order to achieve prosperity, social equity, resilience and better quality of life for all on a thriving planet.

Our Commitment to Climate Justice[edit]

CNCA is committed to a just carbon neutral future that recognizes and redresses the disproportionate burdens and the disproportionate benefits of the fossil fuel economy by prioritizing climate action that advances the well-being of low-income people, Indigenous Peoples, communities of color, immigrants and refugees and other historically marginalized communities.

Click here for CNCA’s full Climate Justice Statement.

Our Work[edit]

CNCA mobilizes transformative, game-changing climate action through the following seven strategic focus areas:

  1. Funding transformative climate action to mobilize the development, adoption and implementation of game-changing climate policies in cities.
  2. Exerting collective influence on and advocate for policies from other decision-makers to reduce emissions not directly controlled by cities.
  3. Advancing methodologies, standards and governance tools for carbon neutrality planning, implementation, impact measurement and continuous improvement.
  4. Fostering peer learning among climate vanguard cities, so they can learn from each other and go further and faster together.
  5. Cultivating transformational leadership so city sustainability directors can excel in their roles as change-makers.
  6. Helping cities communicate more effectively to advance their carbon neutrality work.
  7. Prioritizing a just carbon neutral future by integrating climate justice into ambitious climate action.

Staff, Partners and Funding[edit]

The Alliance is staffed by the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) and is supported by the Laudes Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Barr Foundation, Kendeda Fund, McKnight Foundation, Minor Foundation, Summit Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, Catena Foundation, Garfield Foundation, and Bullitt Foundation.[1]

CNCA Reports and Resources[edit]

Coming Soon: Handbook for Carbon Neutral Buildings: CNCA & Arup to offer cities a practicable guide to low-carbon construction

City Policy Framework for Dramatically Reducing Embodied Carbon: Developed by the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance and One Click LCA, in cooperation with Architecture 2030

This Is Not a Drill! — Climate Emergency Report: How communities are using the Climate Emergency to make big new moves to decarbonize locally.

CNCA Framework for Long-Term Deep Carbon Reduction Planning

CNCA Members in the News[edit]

Amsterdam's Action Networks: How Amsterdam is using 'Action Networks' to reduce citywide gas use by 15%

Toronto's Poop Power: How the world's largest raw wastewater energy transfer system is being built

Copenhagen's Hyper-Local Approach: How the City is embedding local climate officers within the community

CNCA Analysis[edit]

  • How to cut climate-changing emissions? Recycle buildings (Reuters)
  • What new job titles do cities need to tackle climate change? (Reuters)
  • 3 tangible ways to engage your community and tackle big problems (Fast Company)
  • Climate activism can’t leave out the built environment — it generates half of emissions (The Hill)
  • As cities push to slash climate emissions, what’s going to work? (Reuters)
  • Rapid behavior change: A COVID-19 lesson for the climate crisis? (Reuters)


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