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Cities4Climate: The Power of Influencer Engagement

by | Jan 26, 2017 | Influencer Lists, ,

As many are aware, momentum for climate action has recently shifted to a more local level. That’s why the team at Onalytica and I chose to zero in on the power and potential of Twitter influencer engagement around the #Cities4Climate tag. It is no surprise that the global C40Cities organization has lead the charge and built upon the broader conversation.  And, just past the reality check of November’s U.S. election, that organization’s December 2016 conference generated a flurry of Twitter activity.

Now that it seems likely the U.S. government will not follow through on their piece of the Paris Agreement, many of our cities’ Mayors, Chief Sustainability Officers and Chief Resilience Officers are heeding the call. Both in the U.S. and globally I’d argue, Twitter has the potential to be seen as a key tool. As we witnessed during COP21, tweets from key individuals (@Cfigueres, @PaulPolman) and key brands (@UNFCCC, @CDP ) raised a digital roar that influenced real-life connections and sparked conversations for the greater good.

The potential for the #Cities4Climate hashtag to have a similar congregating, supporting and amplifying effect could be exponential. Let’s take a look at who is already involved and where the opportunities lie.

Mapping the Community

In order to identify the social influencers and brands we started by extracting over 25Ktweets tweets from 1st November – 1st December 2016 mentioning the key words: #Cities4Climate and #C40Cities. We then added these tweets and accounts into our database, categorized and curated a top 100 list of influencers and brands ranked on a combination of the 4 R’s (Resonance, Relevance, Reach and Reference). These accounts were then added into Onalytica’s Influencer Relationship Management software (IRM).
This network map shows the number 1 influencer Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris at the center, and all the #Cities4Climate and #C40Cities conversations to the influencers in her field. It’s interesting to note the thicker line between Anne Hidalgo and C40Cities showing a stronger relationship and more communication between these 2 accounts:

Onalytica - Cities4Climate. C40Cities The Power of Influencer Engagement - Network Map Anne Hidalgo
Here is another network map created with IRM showing the number 1 brand C40Cities at the center:
Onalytica - Cities4Climate. C40Cities The Power of Influencer Engagement - Network Map C40 Cities

Building Momentum

The power of a hashtag can be leveraged far beyond events or specific campaigns, which is an opportunity not yet well utilised. For example, while #climateaction built momentum around COP21 and maintained some conversation, the real substance and place for engaged influencers to gather has since built around the more specific tags. Great information and new city influencers are not only for climate action during conferences like @C40cities or @compactofmayors events. Big events help #climate4cities influencers discover one another and “start” conversations, but then the energy seems to be lost. Climate action can no longer allow for that fade in interest.

Another point worth noting, the influential organizations in the climate action space are fairly obvious, and so easy to find and follow (which is a great thing). However, the power from here may be in the individual authentic engagement of key #cities4climate leaders. People like Matt Petersen, the Chief Sustainability Officer of Los Angeles, Stephanie Stuckey , the Chief Resilience Officer of Atlanta and Daniel Zarrilli, New York City’s Chief Resilience Officer are already leveraging their influence for positive, climate impact.

The more a thriving Twitter ecosystem of organizations and individuals exists to “love up” and support one another’s progress in this cause, the better. Now more than ever – and again with perhaps a bit of extra emphasis on the U.S. – amplifying the entire conversation reflects the strength of the climate action cause. Building solidarity between real-time climate action events or marches will help keep us energized.

Onalytica - Cities4Climate. C40Cities The Power of Influencer Engagement - Cities4Climate, C40Cities The Power of Influencer Engagement - Topic Share of VoiceOnalytica - Cities4Climate. C40Cities The Power of Influencer Engagement - Cities4Climate, C40Cities The Power of Influencer Engagement - Gender Split

Insights You Can Use Today

Three, of the many things I’ve noticed in the data (feel free to add what most interests you in the comments below):

  • Influencer gender is quite balanced: The fact that women are already almost half of this individual influencer mix points to the extra potential of #women4climate in the #cities4climate work. As someone focused on women and the leadership potential in climate action overall, I’ll be doing more study and can keep you posted.  Keep an eye out for a future blog post by Onalytica and I that looks a bit more deeply into the #women4climate tag.
  • Good hashtags don’t have to lose impact past the event: There is great between-event opportunity for those who continue to contribute to a particular discussion tag. Those who choose to can take the lead and be very visible, while amplifying all the wisdom and information that many others may not know to tag. The work they put in (which can be fairly minor) to maintaining the tag in “quiet” times earns them greater influence when the next event comes around, for one thing.
  • Twitter influencers hold significant power in which stories get told and shared: Despite recent evidence to the contrary, I am one who still believes that Twitter can be an incredible way to build a platform and leverage it for good. If you are a leading off-line voice in climate action, your story may not yet be reaching the broad digital audience that awaits. You are writing articles, speaking at events and doing all sorts of traditional, off-line, connecting and amplifying, so why not take it one step further for even greater climate action impact?

How This #Cities4Climate Influencer Information Matters

Given these lists and graphs on #cities4climate influencers, how might this activate more individuals and organizations?  First, realize that simply being on the list means nothing, if you don’t use that influence for furthering the topic of your “influence” – climate action.

Now is the time to add intention! If you ARE on the list, study the information and better understand how you or your organization can improve. Otherwise, commit – and do that now – to join and further the #cities4climate action-supporting information sharing. Find the individuals and organizations that curate the best, most motivating, links or wisdom and share. Post your own city’s content to add to the collective information bank and grow the social capital of #Cities4Climate.

The #Cities4Climate Call To Action:

Cities focusing on climate action today must use all the tools and connections they can possibly identify to forward their missions. Don’t get stuck thinking Twitter is only a one-way digital broadcasting medium. For this particularly critical cause, the data certainly hints at much more strategic potential than that.

For more insight on #cities4climate and a great discussion with Andrea Learned and Stephanie Stuckey Benfield (CRO for Atlanta), check out our podcast.

About the Author

Andrea Learned

Andrea Learned is a climate action-focused writer and strategic communications consultant helping business and nonprofit influencers develop authentic, high impact, leadership platforms. Andrea’s expertise in understanding the women’s market (she co-authored Don’t Think Pink, which published in 2004 ) lends her writing work – for HuffingtonPost , her own blog, and many other publications – deep insight into the potential for women, especially, in sustainability leadership roles today.


Below is a list of the top 50 influencers talking about #Cities4Climate and #C40Cities on Twitter. If you want to see who ranks from 50-100 be sure to download the full report by clicking the download button below!

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Rank Twitter Handle Name Company Influencer Score
1 @Anne_Hidalgo Anne Hidalgo Socialist Party 100
2 @MayorOfLA Mayor of Los Angeles Democratic Party 52.03
3 @MikeBloomberg Mike Bloomberg Bloomberg L.P 47.97
4 @dzarrilli Daniel A. Zarrilli NYC Office of the Mayor 38.10
5 @MayorofLondon Mayor of London Labour Party 34.18
6 @marty_walsh Mayor Marty Walsh Democratic Party 32.64
7 @eduardopaes_ Eduardo Paes Green Party 30.05
8 @MarkWatts40 Mark Watts C40 Cities 29.89
9 @SadiqKhan Sadiq Khan Labour Party 25.07
10 @CloverMoore Clover Moore Independent Politician 24.09
11 @CharlieHalesPDX Mayor Charlie Hales Democratic Party 21.74
12 @NYCMayor Bill de Blasio Democratic Party 19.73
13 @AndreaLearned Andrea Learned 18.58
14 @MayorBowser Mayor Muriel Bowser Democratic Party 16.54
15 @PatriciaDeLille Patricia de Lille Democratic Alliance 15.19
16 @CFigueres Christiana Figueres UNFCCC 14.53
17 @KajEmbren Kaj Embrén South Pole Group 13.19
18 @PEspinosaC Patricia Espinosa C. National Action Party 12.16
19 @PKlugman Patrick Klugman Council of Paris 12.14
20 @anthawilliams Antha N. Williams Bloomberg Philanthropies 10.90
21 @HerveMarro Hervé Marro C40 Cities 10.51
22 @JohnTory John Tory Independent Politician 10.47
23 @mayoredlee Mayor Ed Lee Democratic Party 10.29
24 @austinfblackmon Austin Blackmon City of Boston 10.17
25 @LaurenceTubiana Laurence Tubiana IDDRI 10.04
26 @UN_PGA UN GA President UN 9.81
27 @TommyWells Tommy Wells Democratic Party 9.62
28 @DenisCoderre DenisCoderre Liberal Party of Canada 9.45
29 @Brendan_C40 Brendan Shane C40 Cities 9.41
30 @ShelleyPoticha Shelley Poticha NRDC 9.31
31 @Jose_Harris Josh Harris C40 Cities 9.15
32 @ChicagosMayor ChicagosMayor Democratic Party 9.00
33 @sethschultz Seth Schultz C40 Cities 8.93
34 @topnigel Nigel Topping We Mean Business 8.64
35 @LeoDiCaprio Leonardo DiCaprio Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation 8.51
36 @ICLEI_advocacy Yunus Arikan ICLEI 8.39
37 @KaminisG George Kaminis Independent Politician 8.35
38 @HakimaElHaite Hakima El Haité Popular Movement Party 8.32
39 @mattspete Matt Petersen City of Los Angeles 8.22
40 @sudhvir Sudhvir Singh EAT Forum 8.16
41 @MayorEdMurray Ed Murray Democratic Party 8.10
42 @Celia_Blauel Célia Blauel Eau de Paris, Mairie de Paris 8.07
43 @CarlosMorenoFr Carlos MORENO City Council of Paris 7.97
44 @AvecAnne AvecAnne City Council of Paris 7.87
45 @HMolinValdes Helena Molin Valdes UNEP 7.68
46 @UN_Spokesperson UN Spokesperson Socialist Party 7.55
47 @MayorAdler Mayor Adler Democratic Party 7.48
48 @SustainableAkl John Mauro Auckland Council 7.43
49 @makower Joel Makower GreenBiz Group Inc 7.41
50 @MCLemardeley MC Lemardeley City Council of Paris 7.39



Here is a list of the top 50 brands talking about #Cities4Climate and #C40Cities on Twitter. If you want to see who ranks from 50-100 be sure to download the report to get the full top 100 list!

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Rank Twitter Handle Name Influencer Score
1 @c40cities C40 Cities 100
2 @CompactofMayors Compact of Mayors 75.27
3 @ICLEI ICLEI 70.15
4 @UNFCCC UN Climate Action 58.97
5 @WorldBank World Bank 57.78
6 @NYClimate NYClimate 55.77
7 @100ResCities 100 Resilient Cities 50.16
8 @BloombergDotOrg 46.19
9 @Citi Citi 43.65
10 @Cities_Today Cities Today 43.35
11 @CDP CDP 42.13
12 @WRIcities WRISustainableCities 41.63
13 @DOEE_DC DC Energy & Env. 35.70
14 @Sustainia Sustainia 34.74
15 @EcoWatch EcoWatch 33.57
16 @TheWorldPost The WorldPost 32.49
17 @UNEP UN Environment 30.34
18 @FordFoundation Ford Foundation 29.89
19 @theGEF GEF 29.75
20 @Citiscope Citiscope 29.37
21 @CityLab CityLab 28.81
22 @WBG_Cities World Bank Cities 27.66
23 @GreenovateBos Greenovate Boston 27.59
24 @NRDC NRDC 27.52
25 @CECHR_UoD CECHR 25.36
26 @ForeignPolicy Foreign Policy 25.23
27 @UN United Nations 25.19
28 @ClimateGroup The Climate Group 25.16
29 @FastCoExist Co.Exist 25.14
30 @EATforum EAT Forum 24.84
32 @WBG_Climate World Bank Climate 24.21
33 @cityofsydney City of Sydney 22.46
34 @Connect4Climate Connect4Climate 22.28
35 @ArupGroup Arup 21.66
36 @SFEnvironment SF Environment 21.50
37 @WorldResources World Resources Inst 21.48
38 @nycgov City of New York 20.38
39 @ClimateMayors @ClimateMayors 20.32
40 @ClimateKIC Climate-KIC 20.25
41 @UNHABITAT UN-Habitat 20.13
42 @NRDCSolutions NRDC Urban Solutions 20.04
43 @FAOnews FAO Newsroom 19.38
44 @CitiesAlliance Cities Alliance 19.36
45 @Siemens Siemens 19.33
46 @USGBC USGBC 19.02
47 @IWAHQ IWA Network 18.46
48 @SierraClub Sierra Club 17.39
49 @WRIClimate WRI Climate 17.38
50 @WHO WHO 17.35


Effective influencer marketing starts with identifying relevant influencers for your brand. Onalytica’s new Discovery platform mines over 200 billion posts a year into a curated database of over 150K global social media influencers, including data from Twitter, Blogs, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn Profile Links + Demographic Data. These influencers are then ranked by Reach, Resonance, Relevance and Reference.


Disclaimer: As ever with these lists, it must be stressed that the ranking is by no means a definitive measurement of influence, as there is no such thing. The brands and individuals listed are undoubtedly influential when it comes to driving discussion around Cities4Climate and C40Cities.

The PageRank based methodology we use to extract influencers on a particular topic takes into account the number and quality of contextual references that a user receives. These calculations also take into account a user’s resonance (engagement), relevance (number of tweets on topic) and reach (number of followers). If you want to learn more, please read our article that outlines influencer identification.





Download this free report which reveals the top influencers and brands talking about Cities4Climate and C40Cities