5 Days to Lima: Focus on Nantes, France

At the COP20, ICLEI will continue to represent the interests of local governments and highlight their achievements. Here we focus on one of our members: Nantes! Thanks to ICLEI Europe for this excellent profile.

Situated on the Loire River, close to the Atlantic coast, Nantes is a green wonder of western France. It is France’s sixth largest city, and has a metropolitan area home to some 600,000 inhabitants. In 2004, Time Magazine named Nantes ‘the most liveable city in Europe’ and in 2013 it held the title of European Green Capital.

Nantes Métropole is one of the most committed urban areas in Europe and in the world in terms of the fight against global warming. Its Climate Plan was adopted in 2007 and it aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2025.

Sustainability focus: Citizen engagement

The city sees residents as its strongest link and the key to achieving its goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2025. Therefore, for one year in 2011, Nantes Métropole brought together 150 households to understand why they adopt an action or a service or fail to do so, and to test the public policies and services proposed.

The first step was to carry out a survey on over 2,500 residents to gauge the population’s opinions and perceptions of climate change. The second stage consisted in recruiting 150 volunteer households that are representative of the population’s diversity. The features included carbon coaching, questionnaires and test educational campaigns with the participants giving their opinions and proposing solutions.

After the workshop, the participants issued a citizen opinion on the policies carried out, the services needing adjustment, and their needs in terms of information and education. Adjustment work then began on these three areas. Through the creativity of 150 households, the city was able to mobilize 600,000 residents.

Fast facts:

  • Nantes has the longest tramway network in France and was the first city in France to successfully re-introduce electric tramways
  • Nantes Métropole adopted a Climate Plan in 2007 whose objective is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% in 2020 and by 50% in 2025
  • 100% of Nantes residents live within 300 meters of a green area
  • Since 2006, Nantes has planted 3 urban forests
  • Nantes adopted an air quality management plan in 2002


ICLEI and Nantes: Nantes Métropole has been an ICLEI member since 2007. The city was heavily involved in ICLEI’s climate advocacy campaign, the Local Government Climate Roadmap, in the run up to COP15 and COP16.

Websites:  www.nantesmetropole.fr [In French] and www.nantesmetropole.fr [In English]

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