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Renewables in Cities: Unique Role & Save the Date


Renewables in Cities

The Untapped Potential of Cities in the Shift to Renewables

Cities’ secret advantage in the energy transition is their ability to act swiftly and ambitiously to curb big polluters. 

The majority of energy consumption worldwide happens in cities, a trend which is only likely to increase. In 2018, around three-quarters of global final energy use was concentrated in cities, compared to just 45% in 1990. Unsurprisingly, around 75% of total global CO2 emissions are produced in urban areas.

As energy consumers, managers of energy networks and energy producers, city governments play key roles in the energy transition. City actors are uniquely positioned to decarbonise high-polluting energy end-use sectors, like heating and cooling in buildings, and the transport sector.

Read more…

Report Launch: Renewables in Cities 2021 Global Status Report

Thursday 18 March | 8:45-9:30am CET | Add to calendar
Launch day will kick-off with a virtual breakfast, presenting the key findings of the report, with high level speakers and a brief Q&A.
Click here to register for the event and/or sign up to receive the report.
What's happening in cities
around the world? 
1 in 5 people die from outdoor air pollution caused by fossil fuels
A new report published this year shows that the death toll of air pollution is higher than previously expected. In 2018, 8.7 million people died from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels like coal and oil. The Guardian reports, "Without fossil fuel emissions, the average life expectancy of the world’s population would increase by more than a year, while global economic and health costs would fall by about $2.9tn." 

Urban climate resiliency is needed and possible – here's how
A study of Australian cities finds the biggest stumbling block for cities’ climate preparedness is often overlooked: their institutional and political resilience. To develop this, six steps to developing climate resiliency are outlined in the article, including these critical elements: a long-term view, a holistic approach, insurance and preventative measures and strengthened social support. 

Net-zero buildings can cut down on 80% of carbon emissions
The City Council in a town in Illinois, USA has voted to approve a plan to address the carbon emissions of the buildings in town. The program includes strict policies for new construction and a plan to add solar panels to existing structures. It will also boost the local economy, including a re-skilling program to develop jobs in the renewable energy sector.

Join the discussion on renewables in cities:

Livable Cities Drive the Energy Transition | BETD

Wednesday 17 March 2021 – 15:15-16:15 CET
Cities offer clear opportunities to reduce emissions and develop climate-resilient future infrastructure. This session will shed light on the shaping of smart and liveable cities, as a place where traditional networks and services are made more efficient with digital and telecommunication technologies. Learn more on the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue website
 


Carbon Mitigation Strategies in Buildings and Heating | Urban Energy Forum
Thursday 18 March 2021 – 10:00-10:30 CET
REN21's Lea Ranalder will be speaking at the Urban Energy Forum on mapping out carbon mitigation strategies in the building and heating sector– How can the sector contribute to reaching Net Zero Emissions? Add to calendar.
 


Cities in the (Thermal) Energy Transition | Euroheat and Power Conference
Tuesday 4 May 2021 – 16:45 – 17:45 CET
Active players in their local energy markets, collaborating with their existing utilities and energy communities, cities across Europe are surpassing national energy transition targets by proactively setting their own ambitious strategies. This session will explore how smart city infrastructure and thermal networks go hand in hand, which drivers accelerate urban district heating projects and above all, what cities need from us. For more information, visit the event webpage
 


Regional & Thematic Events Related to Cities
22 March and onward through COP26
Within the context of the launch of the Renewables in Cities 2021 Global Status Report, REN21 and the REC Advisory Committee are coordinating events for each continent and for several key topics: transport, buildings, investment/financing, climate resilience, power/mini grids and air pollution. Sign up here to receive updates about these events.

You might have missed… News from REN21
Join the dialogue: Accelerating renewable energy in road transport 
Cities have mechanisms to control transport pollution and encourage active modes of transport, aligned with the 'Avoid-Shift-Improve' framework outlined in the recent report, Renewable Energy Pathways in Road Transport. Going forward, REN21, the FIA Foundation and SLOCAT will take this work forward with joint initiatives to bring together energy and transport experts. Sign up to join the dialogue on renewables in transport.

Decarbonising end-use sectors: heating & cooling
Through building codes and subsidies, city governments can significantly impact the energy used in heating and cooling, which accounts for more than 50% of total final energy consumption worldwide. Fossil fuels remain prevalent in these sectors, but solutions exist and can be implemented on local levels. To dive deeper into heating and cooling, read this joint report published in late 2020.

Expert reviewers needed for Renewables 2021 Global Status Report
If you're a renewable energy expert, we need your help to peer review the 2021 edition of the Renewables Global Status Report. The peer review process will be open online 1-12 April 2021. Your contribution will be recognised in the final publication. Express your interest to be an expert reviewer.

Are you the one we're looking for? 
We are searching for staff and consultants for a variety of positions in REN21 projects. Whether you're a graphic designer or a finance specialist, there could be a position open for you! Check our website for the latest opportunities.

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