REN21 Renewables in Cities 2019 Global Status Report

REN21 Cities

REN21 is taking stock of cities’ efforts to transition to renewable energy with their first global status report on Renewable Cities 2019. Cities are responsible for a large share of emissions but at the same time, they have good reasons to change track. UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report 2019 shows that in contrast to many public pledges by politicians, governments and companies, the world is by no means on its way to reduce emissions and create a low-carbon economy any time soon. More than 70% of cities are already affected by climate change and numbers will only go up.

While countries are collectively failing to reduce their emissions in line with the Paris agreement, cities are taking the lead and are finding ways to implement renewables into urban life. And what cities decide to implement might just turn things around: Two-thirds of global final energy use was concentrated in cities in 2018. Though people still assume that transitioning to a renewables based economy will take several decades, many cities are already there and are sourcing 100 percent of their electricity from renewables. While taking on the next big challenges – heating, cooling, transport and industry – they are proving vital lessons and examples for everyone else. The report contains insights into how cities make pioneering projects work, aim for ambitious emission reduction targets and work to turn our climate crisis around. The report is based on meta-analysis of approaches from around the globe and singles out the key drivers of change. It compares the policy landscapes, the market situation for electricity, heating and cooling and transport and looks at finance and community engagement.

The report - on which EUROSOLAR President Prof. Droege was Leading Advisor - also proves what Hermann Scheer and EUROSOLAR have been calling from the rooftops  for decades: The transition to renewable energy is a huge opportunity for people and communities to take back control. Many European cities are re-municipalising energy companies and source renewable energy locally while in developing countries renewables are often the only way to enable access to energy at all. Securing access to green energy increases the cities’ resilience, supports economic development and improves air quality, health and the life of people everywhere.

Find the full Renewables in Cities Global Status Report here.

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