Park Forest One of 88 Cities in the World Named as Climate Leader

Park Forest Growing Green logo
(Source: villageofparkforest.com)

The Village of Park Forest has been recognized by Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an international non-profit organization that helps cities disclose their environmental impact, as one of 88 across the globe that continue to lead on environmental action despite a year derailed by COVID. These cities, representing a combined global population of almost 125 million, reported their environmental data to the CDP-ICLEI Unified Reporting System in 2020. 

Designed to drive and support cities to ramp up their climate action and ambition, CDP’s “A List” is based on environmental data disclosed by hundreds of cities in 2020.  

To score an A, a city must disclose publicly and have a city-wide emissions inventory, have set an emissions reduction target, published a climate action plan. It must also complete a climate risk and vulnerability assessment and have completed a climate adaptation plan to demonstrate how it will tackle climate hazards now and, in the future, among other actions. 

Five years since the Paris Agreement was signed, the latest climate science tells us that global emissions must be halved by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change. Emissions need to decline faster and all cities need to act. 

The cities on this year’s A List demonstrate that impactful and urgent action is possible. Although almost 40% of cities on this year’s A List did not disclose to CDP in 2015, they have fast tracked their environmental action and ambition, setting ambitious emissions reduction targets and are building resilience against climate change. In so doing, we and the other 87 cities have earned the title of climate leaders.

Park Forest has been recognized for its actions to develop robust climate change strategies, track and act to limit and reduce emissions, assess and mitigate climate risks, and transparently report this information in its 2020 disclosure to CDP.

Park Forest has a long history of sustainable practices. In recent years however the Village of Park Forest has made a concerted effort to become the most sustainable community in Illinois. With the assistance of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, a comprehensive sustainability plan was adopted in Park Forest in 2012. Since then, Park Forest has been named the winner of the Congress for New Urbanism Illinois Charter Award for Best Town Plan (2013), the winner of the Illinois American Planning Association’s Best Sustainability Plan Award (2013), the winner of the Governor’s Sustainability Award (2014), and received a 3-STAR Community Rating for leadership in sustainable practices by STAR Community Rating System.

“As a first-time discloser to CDP, we are thrilled to be included among this year’s A List cities,” said Tom Mick, Village Manager. “The Mayor, Board of Trustees and the whole leadership team in Park Forest is committed to becoming the most sustainable community in Illinois. We believe environmental action is more important than ever during this unprecedented time, and that employing economically, socially and environmentally sustainable practices can help our residents save money, time, and resources – making it easier and more enjoyable for them to stay at home. Being recognized on the A List is possible because of the ongoing hard work being carried out by the Village’s Planning and Sustainability Staff.”

The latest climate science is clear —  global emissions must be halved by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change. As the world fights the coronavirus pandemic, these cities are continuing to ramp up their climate ambition and action

The full A List of cities is published here.  

View the full list of cities here