As of 2020, over 56 per cent of the global population lived in urban areas. By 2050 it is projected that this share will reach two thirds, amounting to 7 billion people. Cities already consume over two-thirds of the world's energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions. With continuation of urbanization and economic growth in various regions, especially in developing countries, and in the absence of ambitious sustainable energy actions, cities’ contribution to climate change, utilization of fossil fuels, air pollution and related issues, can only be expected to increase.
Cities are key actors to achieving not only Paris Agreement, but also Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as it is estimated that 65 per cent of SDGs cannot be reached without striving local action. Many developing countries demonstrate a trend towards 'decentralization' of governance, which gives cities more autonomy in decision and policy making; and more freedom in developing their local policy agendas. This, combined with the fact that most of the infrastructure in developing countries is yet to be built, presents an immense opportunity for taking an integrated and sustainable approach to urban energy and related investments. However, the capacity of local governments to identify and prioritize sustainable energy solutions, evaluate how they can be optimized for achievement of SDG 7 and coordinate related efforts with the national government remains limited in many countries. COVID-19 pandemic posed additional challenges for building capacity on sustainable energy in cities due to limitations on in-person trainings and conflicting priorities for recovery strategies.
This workshop will bring together representatives of national and city governments, business and academic society to discuss good practices, trends and recent developments on sustainable energy in cities. The topic of SDG 7 localisation will be discussed in light of the role of cities in achievement of Agenda 2030, specifically Sustainable Development Goal 7 to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
An online tool on SDG7 Localisation Assessment and an E-learning program on Sustainable energy transitions in cities through SDG7 Localisation will be launched during this workshop. Cities supported by ESCAP on development of Sustainable Energy Transition Roadmaps will share their views on importance of related implementation actions.