Book | 2017

The Carbon-Free City Handbook

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The Carbon-Free City Handbook reveals 22 actions—and associated resources—for cities globally to move toward climate-neutrality and see results within a year.

The Carbon-Free City Handbook helps city staff implement climate policies and actions that resolutely place their communities on an aggressive path toward sustainable, low-carbon economies.

Also available in Chinese | 也有中文版

Check out the companion guide, The Carbon-Free Regions Handbook: An Action Guide for States, Provinces, and Regional Governments.

What Is the Carbon-Free City Handbook?

The Handbook is a resource for city leaders around the world to take real and meaningful action toward their commitments with ready-to-implement, no regrets solutions that have proven success.

Debris remaining in pond and destruction from 1998 Hurricane Mitch in Savanna Bight village Guanaja Bay Islands Honduras

Why It Matters

Cities are at the forefront of climate change risk and opportunity. Nearly 600 cities are making climate commitments, but they will only get us so far and must be substantiated with on-the-ground solutions that enable cities to make rapid progress toward near-term decarbonization, and put them on a path to full climate-neutrality.

Who's Involved

The Handbook, developed with support from Rockefeller Brothers Fund, is an actionable resource for city mayors, chief sustainability officers, and other leaders who are in the drivers seat in making key decisions that shape their community's future.

Get the Action Docs

Browse the 22 recommendations by sector and find associated resources to take action today


Transitioning buildings toward net-zero energy makes buildings healthier and more comfortable, and smart approaches to retrofitting and new construction can create an economic boon for the city.

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Transportation and Mobility

Carbon-free cities can provide more efficient and economic options that are tailored to different transportation needs—with no emissions—and that create vibrant urban spaces.

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Leading cities are transforming electricity generation to carbon-free renewable energy by first committing to bold 100% renewable energy targets, then implementing comprehensive action plans.

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Industry is a major employer and economic driver in many global cities, significantly shaping a city’s carbon emissions. Strategic partnerships with corporate residents can achieve economic and environmental solutions that benefit everyone.

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Biological Resources

Cities can shift the flow and management of their biological resources to reduce emissions, capture carbon, and provide numerous other benefits to a city.

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Cities have an important role to play creating or expanding financing options and improving access to such financing.

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Carbon-Free City Video

Engage With Us

Take action today and set your city on an ambitious course to carbon-neutrality bringing economic vitality, cleaner air, and better health and resilience.