About Ambitious City Promises

The Promise of Seoul, a comprehensive climate strategy adopted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government at the ICLEI World Congress in 2015, was at the heart of Ambitious City Promises. It provides a model of effective climate action at the community level, showing that cities can be both engines of growth and global leaders on climate action by establishing inclusive low emission urban economies.

Through Ambitious City Promises, local governments in Southeast Asia adapted this model of inclusive, ambitious climate action, mainstreaming low emission development strategies and creating new climate leaders. By spreading the vision behind the Promise of Seoul, Ambitious City Promises showed how collective action taken in cities, with leadership from local governments, can contribute to achieving and ratcheting up national and global climate goals.


Through Ambitious City Promises, ICLEI aimed to:

  • Develop and deploy bottom-up models of climate action planning:Ambitious City Promises demonstrated the impact of bottom-up climate action by engaging city residents and integrating stakeholder pledges into the City Promises. By consolidating and integrating community pledges into local action plans, cities can quantify community contributions and make the case for greater ambition at all levels of government. In this way, Ambitious City Promises created new climate leaders at the municipal and community level.

  • Establish lasting mechanisms for knowledge sharing:Ambitious City Promises strengthened climate action by spreading good practices through city-to-city exchange and support. Inspired by the Promise of Seoul, this project, with the support of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, guides participating cities in establishing mechanisms that allow for peer learning while supporting and aligning with national climate action plans and policies.

  • Contribute to local, national and global climate goals:Ambitious City Promises accelerated ambitious climate action at the local level by equipping cities to define and implement low emission development strategies through City Promises shaped by inclusive, participatory processes. These Ambitious City Promises are designed to increase impact and allow for increasingly significant contributions to national and global climate goals.


Through Ambitious City Promises, local governments across Southeast Asia:

  • Participated in in-country consultations to facilitate capacity building, policy advice and technology transfer support provided by ICLEI, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the project advisory group.
  • Developed new or improved comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions inventories.
  • Actively engaged city residents and key local climate stakeholders.
  • Used platforms to collect pledges from key stakeholders, including businesses and households.
  • Prepared concrete climate action plans – called City Promises – that include ambitious targets and integrate community pledges.
  • Initiated implementation of City Promises through pilot projects.
  • Reported aggregated city plans, actions and achievements.
  • Engaged in learning and cooperation opportunities with the Seoul Metropolitan Government and other cities.


Through Ambitious City Promises, Jakarta, Indonesia, Pasig City, Philippines, and Hanoi, Vietnam each:

  • Developed a City Promise plan with prioritized actions based on public consultation processes as well as each city's GHG emissions inventory.
  • Launched a public engagement platform based on consultation processes that provides awareness raising for communities and offers residents and key stakeholders a concrete way to contribute to the City Promise.
  • Designed and implemented two pilot projects, one focusing on engagement mechanisms and one on infrastructure.

About Seoul

The Promise of Seoul

  • The City of Seoul has committed to fighting climate change Is a comprehensive strategy and climate action plan adopted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. This plan is supported by the citizens of Seoul and adopted at the ICLEI World Congress in 2015

  • The Promise provides a model of effective climate action at the community level, showing that cities can be both engines of growth and global leaders on climate action.It includes 11 pledges that cover all areas of climate change, from energy, air quality, transport and resource recycling to water, ecology, urban agriculture, health, safety and urban planning.

  • The collective resolve of 10 million Seoul residents who want to create a better city for future generations take part in the implementation of the plan.It offers a concrete model for climate action that addresses climate change holistically, promotes ambition and fosters climate leadership from the bottom up, engaging citizens, communities, and businesses as climate stakeholders.