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The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) have joined efforts to accelerate the global energy transition in cities.

A Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two will enable cooperation on sustainable energy.

IRENA and UN-Habitat aim to advance the role of cities in the global energy transformation whilst promoting cleaner, low-carbon urbanisation through supporting municipal governments.

Cities account for 65% of global energy demand and for between 71% and 76% of energy-related carbon emissions, according to IRENA’s studies.

The two will exchange relevant information, expertise, and viewpoints in order to realise potential synergies, enhance public dialogue, and implement common positions. 

IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera, said: “Cities are the engines of modern economic growth, supporting prosperity and opportunity, and are also a source of significant energy demands and of carbon emissions.

“In the pursuit of climate and sustainable development goals, municipal governments have an opportunity to strengthen policy frameworks that can help cities shift to renewable energy use. Cities can significantly contribute to the achievement of global energy transformation objectives and this partnership will help accelerate that process.”

UN-Habitat Deputy Executive Director Victor Kisob said: “The signing of this MoU is one of the many testaments of UN reforms to advance synergy and partnership.  We are happy to strengthen our partnership with IRENA for a more sustainable energy future.”