Climate Summit for Local Government

Sept 6-8, 2023 | Melbourne

In Australia, the Cities Power Partnership is helping councils and cities make the switch to clean energy. But around the world there are noteworthy organisations and projects spearheading similarly successful climate initiatives with local governments and cities. Below is a list of some good ones:

C40 Cities

C40 is a network of some of the world’s biggest cities committed to addressing climate change. C40 helps cities to collaborate, share knowledge and drive meaningful action on climate change. The C40 networks facilitate dialogue amongst city officials which builds trusted relationships, which in turn ensures that ideas, solutions, lessons, questions, and even friendly competition can flow freely and responsively to cities’ needs.


In September last year, C40 Cities and the Global Covenant of Mayors jointly announced that  Birmingham, Greater Manchester, Honolulu, Medellin, Oslo, Oxford, Rotterdam, Santa Monica, Seoul, Tokyo, Warsaw, & West Hollywood – representing more than 140 million urban citizens, have committed to deliver a zero emission mobility future. By signing the C40 Green & Healthy Streets Declaration, the city leaders pledged to procure only zero-emission buses from 2025 and ensure that a major area of their city is zero emission by 2030.

Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy

The Global Covenant of Mayors is the largest global coalition of cities and local governments voluntarily committed to actively combating climate change and transitioning to a low carbon and climate resilient economy. The Global Covenant has thousands of city signatories across six continents and more than 120 countries, representing over 700 million people or nearly 10% of the global population. By 2030, Global Covenant cities and local governments could collectively reduce 1.4 billion tons of CO2 emissions per year from business-as-usual – equal to the emissions of taking all car in the United States off the road for one year.

American Cities Climate Challenge Renewables Accelerator

The Renewables Accelerator (based on The Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center which does a similar thing with corporations) supports US cities – large and small – to purchase renewables to reduce their climate impact. The group offers technical support to 25 selected “challenge cities” and to over 100 members working to power their cities with renewable energy. They facilitate peer exchange among cities and share lessons learned from other large renewable energy buyers.

“Cities are in a pretty analogous situation to the situation corporates were in a few years ago, in that they have made a number of really, really ambitious, and in some ways, pretty radical, commitments and are now looking for ways to turn those commitments into action,” said program director Rushad Nanavatty.

The Renewables Accelerator Fact Sheet can be viewed here, and an article appearing in GreenTech Media about the group, can be read here.


Washington D.C. has a target to increase the use of renewable energy to make up 50% of the its energy supply by 2032. As part of this strategy, Washington established a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement in 2015 with Iberdrola Renewables, LLC that will directly supply 35 percent of the District government’s electricity demand with wind power.

Ready for 100

Since the Ready For 100 campaign launched in 2016 by The Sierra Club, the movement for 100% clean, renewable energy has gathered a lot of steam. In the organisation’s own words, “City by city, state by state, local communities are leading a just and equitable transition to 100% clean energy for all.” More than 90 cities in the United States have now established commitments to move away from dirty fuels and repower their communities with 100% clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

Ready for 100 has published a case study of 10 cities in the US that have pledged to 100% renewables. And also a list of the 209 mayors who have pledged their city’s commitment to renewable energy transition.

ICLEI – Ambitious City Promises

Through ‘Ambitious City Promises’, local governments in Southeast Asia adapt models of inclusive, ambitious climate action, bringing renewables into the mainstream and creating new climate leaders. Ambitious City Promises show how collective action taken in cities, with leadership from local governments, can ratchet up national and global climate goals. This project was born out of The Promise of Seoul, a comprehensive climate strategy adopted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government at the ICLEI World Congress in 2015.

ICLEI’s tagline is “Local Governments for Sustainability” and is a leading global network of 1,500+ cities, towns and regions committed to building a sustainable future. Local and regional governments work for sustainable urban development to lower their city’s emissions through anything from transport and buildings to energy.

Climate Action in the Climate Emergency

CACE (Council Action in the Climate Emergency) was created to encourage and support councils adopting a Climate Emergency response. CACE is an initiative of Adrian Whitehead and Bryony Edwards in 2017 in response to their successful campaigning with Darebin Council in Victoria, Australia. Through council leadership, community education and positive action, state and federal governments will be forced to follow suit to meet growing community demand for real action to reverse climate change. ​350+ councils in Australia, the US, the UK, Canada and Switzerland have declared a climate emergency.