Empowering Cities for a Net Zero Future

Unlocking resilient, smart, sustainable urban energy systems

International Energy Agency

Climate action in cities is essential for achieving ambitious net-zero emissions goals. Cities account for more than 50% of the global population, 80% of global GDP, two-thirds of global energy consumption and more than 70% of annual global carbon emissions. These factors are expected to grow significantly in the coming decades: it is anticipated that by 2050 more than 70% of the world’s population will live in cities, resulting in massive growth in demand for urban energy infrastructure.

Smart cities represent an important opportunity to reduce energy consumption while meeting service demand, improving grid stability and improving the quality of life for all. Next-generation energy systems leverage big data and digital technologies to collect and analyse data in real time and manage city services more efficiently. These solutions are transforming the energy landscape by creating new synergies to reduce emissions, improve energy efficiency and enhance resilience.

Local governments are in a unique position to deliver on the net-zero emissions agenda. In this report we illustrate the wide range of opportunities, challenges and policy solutions that can help city-level governments capture the significant value in efficient and smart digital energy systems, no matter their unique context. Our focus is on ways national governments can help cities overcome barriers to progress and accelerate clean energy transitions using digitalisation.

16 Aug 2021 108 pages English

https://doi.org/10.1787/7a222c8b-en 9789264515376 (PDF)

Author(s): International Energy Agency