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Home > Cities Today > Issue 22 > Building a zero-emissions city

Building a zero-emissions city

Cities are at the forefront of experiencing the effects of climate change but are perfectly positioned to have the most influence on preventing and negating these effects. Nick Michell looks at how the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, through it Zero Emissions Cities project, is striving to develop an approach to get cities onto a zero-emissions pathway
Amsterdam ArenA’s Utility Hub initiative will help Zuidoost move toward shared use of energy resources and infrastructures
Photo: WBCSD

Urban areas consume over 70 percent of the world’s energy and contribute 70 to 80 percent of energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Rapid urbanisation will further increase GHG emissions, which is why many city authorities around the world are making ambitious commitments to reduce their emissions over the coming decades.

By working closely with city governments and key solution providers across sectors, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD) Zero Emissions Cities (ZEC) partners are developing roadmaps to effectively transform city energy systems towards zero emissions and identify catalytic opportunities to drive implementation.

“When it comes to climate change, cities are key actors,” says Roland Hunziker, Director of the Sustainable Cities project, WBCSD. “Cities need to work together with businesses to solve complex problems, and this requires good management. Business can bring innovative solutions, finance and implementation capabilities. The ZEC initiative aims to show the importance of collaboration in tackling difficult challenges and provide models for new ways of working.”

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