Although there is no specified format for the plan, each of the above components must be included in a city’s climate action planning documentation. The plan may comprise a single, all-encompassing document or a series of complementary plans and documents; it may include existing plans as well as new ones; it may be entirely public-facing, or only partially. While each city is likely to take a different approach, ambition, acceleration and delivery will form core components of the climate action planning process.
There are two key points in time when the Climate Action Planning Framework can be used by city staff, with support from C40, or by a third-party reviewer:
- Early in the planning process, as part of a strategic appraisal, to identify gaps in the existing evidence base, engage internal stakeholders and provide focused recommendations for the city to develop or revise its existing plan in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
- Later in the process, as part of a draft plan review, to check that the final plan satisfies all essential elements of the framework. Similar to the strategic appraisal, this process involves a review of the plan, evidence and documentation, highlighting immediate gaps to inform the completion of the plan.
The framework is designed to be flexible, recognising the diversity of cities and their individual contexts. Each pillar includes several categories and subcategories, highlighting:
- 'Essential' planning elements that will accelerate transformational action to achieve the Paris Agreement.
- 'Go further' guidance on how to strengthen the plan in current or future iterations.