ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network working with more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.


ICLEI World Secretariat
Kaiser-Friedrich-Str. 7
53113 Bonn

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network working with more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.

ICLEI Regional Secretariats and country offices

24 June 2021

How ICLEI is helping cities and regions on their climate neutrality journey


The next decade will decide the future for humanity. Delivering a green and just recovery to the COVID-19 crisis; creating strong, fair economies that serve everyone; and drastically cutting greenhouse gas emissions quickly enough to limit global warming to the 1.5°C degrees target of the Paris Agreement, are all one and the same thing. None is possible without the others, and success in all is the only way to prevent a catastrophic crisis.

The upcoming UN COP26 in Glasgow will be meaningful and successful only if each nation presents new and more ambitious national climate action plans, also known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). This result is only possible if national governments engage their local and regional counterparts, which are often more ambitious than countries themselves and already aiming at climate neutrality.

Climate neutrality in the context of local and regional governments means reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and avoiding GHG in their own operations and across the community in all sectors to an absolute net-zero emission level at the latest by 2050.

Yet, creating a roadmap towards climate neutrality requires the establishment of an organizational framework and the identification of priority sectors for action. In turn, these need to consider key elements of sustainable development, such as climate justice, green economy, and local jobs.

That is where the Cities Race to Zero comes into play. This initiative aims to mobilize an unprecedented coalition of cities committed to science-based targets and to the implementation of inclusive and resilient climate action ahead of and beyond the COP26.

With the goal to recruit 1,000 cities for the UNFCCC Race to Zero, the initiative is backed by a multitude of global partners such as ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), C40 Cities, CDP, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM), United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the World Resources Institute (WRI).

ICLEI is gathering pledges for the Cities Race to Zero through the GreenClimateCitiesProgram, a tested and proven process methodology and associated Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) framework for walking step-by-step toward climate neutrality. The GCC methodology is a 9-step process in 3 phases: Analyze, Act and Accelerate – each unfolding into three sub-steps – outlining how climate risks and vulnerabilities can be assessed and sustainable options can be identified and integrated into urban development policies, plans, and processes.

Notably, the GreenClimateCities Program also includes a Climate Neutrality Framework designed to support local and regional governments willing to achieve city-wide climate neutrality latest by 2050. The Framework is based on three pillars: the drastic reduction and sequestration of GHG emissions; the divestment, repurpose and reinvestment from fossil fuels; and the offsetting of emissions that cannot be avoided. It explores how each of the ICLEI’s five pathways can contribute to climate action, in order to follow a holistic and integrated approach that also informs sustainable development.

ICLEI World Secretariat
European Secretariat
Leopoldring 3
79098 Freiburg, Germany
Brussels Office
Av. de Tervuren 35
1040 Bruxelles
Berlin Office
St. Oberholz ROS Team Room 4.02
Rosenthaler Str. 72a
10119 Berlin
Physical address:
Unit 1, 2nd Floor,
South Tower
Sable Park, 14 Bridge
Century City
Cape Town
South Africa
Tyger Valley, South Africa
ICLEI Africa Foundation
Ebène Junction, Quatre Bornes, Mauritius
North America
USA Office
536 Wynkoop St.
Suite 901
Denver, Colorado
USA 80202
Canada Office
401 Richmond St. W
Studio 204
Toronto, Ontario
M5V 3A8, Canada
British Columbia Office
Victoria City Hall
1 Centennial Square
BC V8W 1P6
Québec Office
Montréal City Hall
275 Notre-Dame St E
QC H2Y 1C6
Central America & the Caribbean
Mexico, Central American and Caribbean Secretariat
Eje Central Lazaro Cardenas 13
Building Miguel Abed, Floor 5 Of. 506 and 507,
Col. Centro, CP 06050 Del.
Cuauhtemoc, Mexico City, Mexico
South America
South American Secretariat
Rua Marquês de Itu 70, 14° andar.
São Paulo, SP, Brasil
CEP 01223-000
Colombia Office
Carrera 53 N° 40A - 31,
Medellín, Antioquia – Colombia
Argentina Office
Boulevard Gálvez, 1150 Planta Alta.
Rosário, Santa Fé, Argentina
South Asia
South Asia Secretariat
c, 3, Green Park Extension Road, Block B, Green Park Extension, Green Park, New Delhi, Delhi, India
Southern Center
Door No. 6-3-596/47/2
Sri Venkata Ramana Colony
Hyderabad 500 004
Andhra Pradesh
East Asia
East Asia Secretariat
14/F, Seoul Global Center Building, 38 Jongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea (110-110)
Japan Office
1-14-2 Nishi-Shimbashi,
Tokyo, Japan 105-0003
Kaohsiung Capacity Center
4F. No.436, Daye N. Rd.
Xiaogang Dist.
Kaohsiung City 812
Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Korea Office
217-59 Kintex-ro, Ilsanseo-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do 10390, Republic of Korea
Beijing Office
B1010 Xiaoyun Center, No. 15
Beijing 100125,
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia Secretariat
c/o The Manila Observatory Ateneo de Manila University Campus Loyola Heights, Quezon City 1101 Manila, Philippines
ICLEI Indonesia Project Office
Jl. Karbela Sel. No.46, RT.2/RW.4, Kuningan, Karet, South Jakarta City, Jakarta 12940, Indonesia
Oceania Secretariat
l8/225 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia