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Why Cities?

Cities play an important role in promoting the use of renewables.  Although cities occupy less that 2% of the world’s landmass, 4.2 billion people (more than half of the world’s population) live there. Cities, their residents and the businesses consume two thirds of the world’s energy. Cities are also important drivers of the global economy, with a growing number of cities – including London, Tokyo and New York – boasting economies larger than some G20 countries. Cities are positioned to transform global energy consumption at scale through transitions to renewable energy sources and more efficient infrastructure and processes.

Changing the type of energy cities consume and how they consume it can have a significant impact on curbing the climate crisis.  But first we have to understand what is happening. City contributions to the global renewable energy transition have been under-publicized; limited data exists to showcase their powerful role. To spotlight this vital work and inspire continued ambitious action, REN21 is producing the first edition of a new report series: Renewables in Cities Global Status Report (REC-GSR).

The REC-GSR is the first comprehensive resource to collaboratively map out the current trends and developments of renewable energy in cities. It builds on REN21’s flagship publication series, the Renewables Global Status Report.

The REC-GSR illustrates what is happening where. The report presents the most current fact-based evidence and a compelling story. These features make the REC-GSR a powerful tool for accelerating renewable energy uptake at the city level, supporting city-level commitments, and inspiring innovation in policy, financing, and technology development.