Over the last two decades there has been a surge in political energy around the need for action on climate change, and much of that has focused on the local and state levels. In a new report from The Brookings institution, a team of four scholars evaluates the efficacy of climate action plans and commitments of the 100 lar gest U.S. cities About half the cities are doing little to nothing. Of those that are more pioneering, roughly two thirds are currently lagging in their targeted emissions levels Of the cities that have already achieved the deepest cuts against their baseline levels of emissions, half are in California. We find that the Climate Action Plans (adopted by the leading cities) align broadly with the goals of the Paris Agreement if they were adopted everywhere. But the sum of all the efforts announced by the big cities with CAPs would cut US emissions only 4%. The pioneers for climate action are learning a lot about what works (and not) at the city level, but much more active efforts are needed for those leaders to elicit a
larger stable of followers.
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