Cities, municipalities and regions lead by example by managing their Climate Action Plan (CAP) efficiently. Most cities develop CAPs as they aim at being carbon neutral in the near future and want to reduce their emissions, whereas some cities develop a CAP as a result of changes in climate policies on various levels.

Having worked with several governments from different levels, our team at Kausal has gained insight on how important it is to implement the CAP progress. Monitoring the progress has multiple advantages, both within the city organization and externally for stakeholders and citizens.

This blog post focuses on four key issues when a city organization tracks the progress of and implements their CAP.


Single source of truth

Many cities around the world face similar issues when coordinating climate work - the process of updating and collecting data is often laborious and the responsibility sits, in most cases, on a few people's shoulders.

Instead of tracking data updates through a stiff spreadsheet that is sent back and forth via email, it is possible to have a climate dashboard where all climate action data is gathered and followed both by the city organization and the public. This will help delegate the responsibility directly to the experts of each subject matter.

The few climate coordinators have more important work than reaching out to each expert individually and collecting existing updates for each action.


Setting good KPIs

Our experience is that most CAPs consist of ambitious actions, but it is also crucial to remember the importance of including measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) showing how the actions progress. For example, showing the city’s greenhouse gas inventory makes it easy to follow the direction of emissions of each sub-sector and how certain climate actions affect them.

A key point is to understand the substance of the plan and start with data that is already being collected. Indicators cannot improve progress until they are measured. If there is a need to increase the amount of trackable KPIs, there are existing tools available for the cities to use.


Get everyone involved and use real-time monitoring and reporting

By regularly evaluating the progress of the CAP, the city can ensure that it is on track and suggest improvements whenever necessary. To increase the activity of CAP monitoring within the city organization, it is important to divide the responsibilities between all subject matter experts. Aligning the updating pace with recurring, reporting deadlines and council meetings creates a natural schedule for all to follow.

In addition, everyone should be encouraged to update the progress to the data platform immediately, when it is still fresh in the memory. This sort of updating process would keep experts, decision makers and stakeholders up to date on the progress of the city’s climate work as well as increasing the transparency within the organization. As the progress monitoring is done together, a support network is built around everyone involved and no one is left with all responsibility on their own.


Start from what you have and where you are; keep improving and being adaptive

Taking the very first step to developing a CAP is important for the city. In Kausal’s experience, it is best to use whatever data is already existing and build around that. The first draft versions of the plan should not be expected to be perfect. Learning from other cities’ CAPs can help your city improve its own plan, as well. Structure-wise it is a good idea to bring some hierarchy to the CAP by using a few main themes for example transport, waste etc. Under those main themes list either a layer of sub-themes or directly categorize relevant actions under them.

Hierarching the plan breaks down the actions to levels that easily show the connection each action has to the relevant climate themes, organization units, and responsible people, making it more systematic for the city to find the correct subject matter expert for each action.

If you would like to hear more about the solutions Kausal has developed for cities managing their CAPs, reach out to our team to book a meeting and we will be more than happy to help you.

Find out more

Discover how Kausal Watch can help your city to reach climate goals. Book a demo now!