Building climate-resilient cities

Deloitte Insights

Building climate-resilient cities

Exploring the five lenses of climate action

Cities should take a multidimensional approach to climate change. Based on insights gleaned from our survey, we recommend that cities view climate action through five lenses: governance, innovation, risk reduction, operational sustainability, and climate equity.

About the survey

ESI ThoughtLab, in collaboration with a coalition of business, government, and academic leaders, including Deloitte, surveyed 167 cities globally to understand their progress on UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), how they coped with the pandemic, and how they are leveraging digital technologies, data, and other innovative solutions to drive progress in the postpandemic era.

The survey was conducted between August and November 2020. It covered cities across 82 countries with varying income levels and population sizes. The survey also classified cities into three stages of smart city maturity—beginner, intermediate, and leader—based on their progress in harnessing technology and data across various urban domains, and their ability to foster citizen and stakeholder engagement. Based on the survey results, 29% of cities were classified as beginner, 49% as intermediate, and 22% as smart city leaders.

Executive summary

Back in 2012, Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, declared its intent to become completely carbon-neutral by 2025. If successful, Copenhagen will not only be the first capital city in the world to achieve this goal but will likely beat other major cities by more than a decade.

Key to this initiative is the Copenhagen 2025 Climate Plan (CPH 2025). This multidimensional approach to climate change was co-developed with more than 200 stakeholders, including businesses, academics, and citizen representatives. The plan sets specific targets and outlines carbon reduction initiatives in four key areas—energy consumption, energy production, mobility, and city administration.

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Irena Pichola

Mahesh Kelkar

Mateusz Bratek



Deloitte Insights

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