Cities shaping Climate Action Decision Support Tool together

Cities shaping Climate Action Decision Support Tool together

Climate-4-CAST project consortium

Many cities are set on reaching their climate neutrality targets already by the end of this decade. To empower them on this path, the Climate-4-CAST project develops a tool to comprehensively calculate carbon emissions and climate impacts, and launches discussions on what are the remaining bottlenecks that might hamper reaching the set goals.

Climate-4-CAST: the project involving 20 municipalities

The Climate-4-CAST project (A Climate Action Decision Support Tool to accelerate cities’ progress towards climate neutrality) started in November 2023, funded by the Interreg BSR Programme. It has a clear vision and a concrete goal too: providing cities with a tool for reaching climate neutrality objectives. Climate-4-CAST brings together 10 partners and 14 associated organisations; 20 of them are municipalities including some set to become climate neutral by the years 2029 and 2030.

Climate-4-CAST contributes to reaching climate targets by empowering local public authorities to integrate climate concerns into urban governance processes, helping them to break down long-term goals into short-term measures. The project aims to develop an open-source scenario tool linking climate actions to municipal budgets, facilitating decision-making on local and regional climate investment plans, and ultimately enabling the establishment of climate budgets.

The project was kicked-off last autumn in Hamburg where the partnership gathered for the first time to map the application-based ambitions and carefully plan the next steps forward.

Workshops to develop the tool for reaching climate targets

One of the first operational steps in project implementation was to get cities familiar with the beta-version of the tool and gather their feedback for its further development and customisations according to their needs and expectations. With this purpose a two-day online co-design workshop has been arranged in early March: first part focused on explaining the tool’s functional assumptions and requirements to both partner cities and interested associated municipalities registering their interest in further testing and application. The second part, dedicated only to partner organisations, took forward the gathered feedback and aimed at elaborating next steps in identification of suitable actions, as well as their envisaged impacts for the target groups of users and stakeholders. 

More material is needed for argumentation of city investments, their advantages for public and expected lower expenses in the future, observed the City of Norderstedt, one of the partner cities.

To supplement that and take further the tool’s intended functioning, the city of Tampere added that they “have been experimenting with cost-benefit analysis methods of modal shift (move to active mobility such as walking and cycling), where economic impacts are also weighted together with the social, and would like to include it into the piloting done in Climate-4-CAST”.

The tool’s primary developer, company Kausal, underlined that its usage can be most versatile and “also undesirable climate actions can be added – in order to showcase and visualise ‘bad ideas’ with their low effect and possible high cost, thus explaining the argumentation behind selected successful actions”.

Overall, through the intense brainstorming and fruitful discussions in workgroups, many interesting insights have been gathered. These will enable to progress further with the tool’s development as well as the parallel research on governance processes and operationalisation of its usage for the municipalities. Next steps in the project will entail tool testing sessions and individual technical support and advice on data gathering offered both to partner and associated cities.