New WEF report provides roadmap to net-zero carbon cities

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Schneider Electric, the Enel Group and World Economic Forum (WEF) have published the first deliverable of the Net-Zero Carbon Cities – Systemic Efficiency Initiative.

This Initiative is a framework setting the vision to accelerate the decarbonisation and resiliency efforts in cities around the world.

The report, Net-Zero Carbon Cities: An Integrated Approach, outlines the need and benefit derived from an integrated energy approach to plan and manage buildings and mobility. It is predicated on a digitalised and intelligent grid infrastructure in an urban context.

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Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Schneider Electric Chairman and CEO, said the COVID-19 crises has reinforced the importance of global partnerships as we strive to make our cities and societies more sustainable, inclusive and resilient.

“Curbing emissions from the world’s cities requires urgent action and it is an ambition that will need alignment of all stakeholders, both public and private actors, companies and citizens. This report outlines the ways in which systemic efficiency can be realistically and practically achieved, and how each of us can plan a part,” said Tricoire.

Francesco Starace, CEO and General Manager of the Enel Group reiterated the idea that a successful energy transition requires everyone working together, calling on local and national public administrators, private sector plays and civil society to take on the common agenda of reduction emissions.

“Electricity has already proved to be the lifeblood of cities, and this will increasingly be the case as electrification grows around the world. As a global leader in the power sector we want to contribute to the development of a sustainable urban vision for the future by working with global partners to integrate electrification, smarter digital technology as well as efficient buildings and infrastructure,” Starace said.Sign up for the ESI Africa newsletter

The transition to net-zero cities starts with collaboration

Cities today account for almost 70% of global carbon emission and consume 78% of the planet’s energy, making an approach such as this critical to reaching the goal of limiting the rise of global temperatures to 1.5⁰C above pre-industrial levels.

The report was developed within the WEF’s Net-Zero Carbon Cities – Systemic Efficiency Initiative which is co-chaired by Tricoire and Starace. Since it was launched a year ago Schneider Electric and the Enel Group have been working with the community to accelerate the transition to net-zero carbon emissions in 100 cities by 2030.

It articulates the need for an integrated approach to improving energy productivity, electrifying transport, decarbonising heating and cooling systems, as well as enabling demand-side flexibility. The report provides concrete recommendations and instructive experience-sharing around these concepts.

The framework paper – the first deliverable within the cooperation – kicks off a list of future deliverables including toolkits, interactive digital platform and building & cities metrics to measure the process of cities towards a green and sustainable transition.

Each deliverable in the framework will be the result of a close collaboration between major cities and several mayoral networks, as well as high-level representative from academia, non-governmental organisations, finance and industry.

Net-Zero Carbon Cities: An Integrated Approach is available online.