Expanding the urban climate imagination: A review of mitigation actions across 800 local governments

Sombol Mokhles*, Michele Acuto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper broadens the scope of hierarchical knowledge in urban climate governance, moving beyond the traditional focus on large, global cities in specific regions. By scrutinising cities’ mitigation actions in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) for the year 2019, the study encompasses data from over 800 local governments and over 3700 reported mitigation actions. Spanning a diverse range of cities with varying populations, global city status, and regional locations, the analysis aims to uncover cities’ sectoral focus and financial and implementation arrangements. It further explores whether there are significant differences between diverse cities and their reported actions. The analysis highlights the dominance of building and infrastructure among different cities’ reported mitigation actions and most cities having successful implementation and finance by largely relying on local sources. Notably, most cities demonstrate successful implementation and finance predominantly sourced locally. Surprisingly, no discernible variations were found in cities’ sectoral focus and financial and implementation arrangements based on their population and GDP per capita. However, cities with distinct global economic statuses exhibit notable differences in sectoral focus, even though no disparities exist in finance and implementation approaches. Global cities, in particular, show a higher percentage of actions related to building, energy, and transportation compared to non-global cities. Significant differences also emerge across regions, particularly in infrastructural sectors such as building, waste, and energy supply, as well as in the implementation and funding of actions. For instance, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Oceania showcase the lowest percentage of actions in the building sector but the highest in waste, distinguishing them from other regions. These findings underscore the potential of smaller cities, with lower economic status and those lacking global city status in successfully funding and implementing their mitigation actions despite regional variations. The study challenges prevailing hierarchical assumptions about cities based on size and economic status, emphasising the importance of tailoring solutions to address unique needs and priorities of different regions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number141055
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024


  • Cities ’off the map’
  • Mitigation actions
  • Urban climate governance
  • Urban imagination


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