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San Francisco Tops List of Climate-Friendly Cities

| June 13, 2011
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Canadian firm ranks three California cities among the US top ten

The new ranking places San Francisco at number one because of its “political leadership and commitment” in the fight against climate change, according to the study’s author, Boyd Cohen of CO2 Impact, a Vancouver-based carbon offsets company. The city also has a “proactive” university community, lots of active clean-tech investors, and the largest number of LEED-certified buildings per capita in the country, he said.

Photo: Gretchen Weber

Two other California cities made the top ten: San Diego in sixth place, and San Jose in ninth.

Cohen said he based the rankings on political commitment, green buildings, university leadership, transit access and use, clean tech investment, and greenhouse gas emissions. He concedes that makes the term “climate-ready” something of a misnomer, as most of the rated activities are intended more for “mitigation” than “adaptation,” that is more about reducing carbon emissions than actually preparing for the impacts of climate change. Cohen says rating cities on the latter is “tricky” because appropriate adaptation measures are different for every city.

Cohen, who says his firm works mostly in Latin America, says he has no client relationships with any cities on the list. He says he plans to continue with the national list and “make it more robust,” and has plans to issue a global ranking next month.

Gretchen Weber is the Multimedia Producer for Climate Watch.

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Category: Energy, Environment

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