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The ICLEI Climate Neutrality Framework

Cities and regions on the path to net zero emissions and climate resilience

In response to the global climate emergency, ICLEI launched a Climate Neutrality Framework, calling for the necessary level of ambition and daring leadership in all cities, towns and regions around the globe, whether urban or rural.

As a part of the GreenClimateCities Program, this neutrality framework calls on all local and regional governments to accelerate climate action now.

Defining Climate Neutrality

Climate neutrality in the context of local and regional governments is defined as the targeted reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and GHG avoidance in own operations and across the community in all sectors to an absolute net-zero emission level at the latest by 2050.

In parallel to this, cities, towns and regions must adapt to climate change and enhance climate resilience across all sectors, in all systems and processes. To achieve climate neutrality local and regional governments should set a clear goal and advance rapidly following a holistic and integrated approach that leads to a wide range of co-benefits for sustainable development, such as creating socio-economic opportunities, reducing poverty and inequality, and improving the health of people and nature.

Three pillars for climate neutrality

ICLEI’s Climate Neutrality Framework is built on three pillars of action to help all levels of government achieve climate neutrality:

  1. Drastically reduce and sequester greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  2. Divest, repurpose and reinvest
  3. Offset and compensate any GHG emissions that cannot immediately be removed, reduced or avoided

Integration with the GreenClimateCities program

The GreenClimateCities Program is ICLEI’s climate action initiative that offers cities, towns and regions in the ICLEI network with guidance and tools following three phases: Analyze, Act, Accelerate which unfold into nine steps.


The GCC Program is tailor-made to support local and regional governments to set and achieve climate and energy targets, whether they start or are advanced. The proven process methodology guides local and regional governments step-by-step to tackle climate change, addressing integrated climate action - climate change adaptation,  resilience and mitigation.

Take action

Explore ICLEI’s Climate Neutrality Framework and see how your city, town or region can engage

Learn more
ICLEI membership application
Infographic

Pioneers of Climate Ambition

Policy brief

Towards carbon-neutral circular economies at the regional level

News

TEDxDaring Cities: Cities Going Climate Neutral 

Resource

Science Based Targets for Climate: A toolbox for cities

Blog

How are cities actually racing to zero?

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