Municipal climate emergency strategy

The City of Geneva is currently developing a roadmap for its “Stratégie municipale d’urgence climatique”. The goal of this strategy is to cut carbon emissions by 60% in 2030 and to reach carbon neutrality in 2050. The City’s strategy is aligned on the cantonal strategy, which shares the same goals and the same six chapters:

  • Consumption & Production
  • Mobility
  • Energy
  • Territorial planning
  • Health and Protection of the population
  • Biodiversity and Natural areas

The strategy first led to a number of urgent measures, taken in 2021, which include, for example, more cycling lanes, more vegetarian meals in schools and increased tree planting. Subsequently, more long-term policies based on the evaluation of carbon emissions in different sectors will be adopted and financed as of 2022, after completing a year’s work with city staff from all departments and with external specialists, in six work groups (one per chapter).

The City of Geneva does not have the authority to make laws, but it is proactive within the remit of its own 800 buildings, of which a majority need renovation to become climate resilient. It is also actively improving public areas, bike lanes, roads and parks in line with its climate strategy, and actively promotes sustainable behavior, a circular economy and urban farming. The City owns numerous cultural institutions, which are currently contributing to changing the way we consider our links to the environment. Finally, the City also subsidizes numerous local NGOs which contribute to Geneva’s ecological transition.

The explicit goal of this strategy is to cut carbon emissions by 60% in 2030 and to reach carbon neutrality in 2050. However, the pathway which will help Geneva achieve this goal is still being identified by municipal staff (ongoing work groups). It is expected that increased resources will have to be mobilized to achieve these goals.

It is generally expected that this strategy will reinforce the coherence between various city policies, in line with the above-stated goals. It has already brought together collaborators from different services into participating work groups; all executive councilors and heads of department have received training regarding the importance of climate issues. The general public has not been invited to contribute to the municipal strategy, but the City is in close contact with numerous NGOs and partners who are consulted according to their expertise, and the City is also going to launch a public information campaign on the topic of climate, which will include discussion forums.

For further information on this project, you can contact Ms. Julie Perrenoud, +41.22.418.22.41