By 2030, 70% of the world’s population will live in cities. Buildings already consume nearly 40% of global energy and account for about one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions. Transport emissions account for about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, but are on track to reach as much as 40% without significant change. 

Greener buildings, transport and energy systems not only cut greenhouse gas emissions, but reduce operating costs and resource demand and improve people’s health, productivity and resilience. 

Our Approach to Urban Efficiency & Climate

The choices leaders make today on energy and climate issues, from buildings to transport and resilience, will shape the built environment for decades.

WRI’s “Optimize, Electrify, Decarbonize” framework encourages cities to focus on three steps to build momentum for climate action and reach a tipping point beyond which zero-carbon infrastructure becomes mainstream:  

  1. Optimize efficiency to blunt the overall need for energy
  2. Decarbonize the power sector to cut emissions and air pollution
  3. Electrify fuels, which is essential to a paradigm shift in transport

Through our Electric Mobility Practice and Buildings Initiative, we connect decision-makers with the information and partners they need to succeed.

WRI is the lead partner of the Building Efficiency Accelerator, an effort of the United Nations’ Sustainable Energy for All initiative. The public-private collaboration connects a global network of cities to technical expertise to accelerate local government implementation of building efficiency policies and programs.

Building on the experiences of the Building Efficiency Accelerator, WRI and partners are also responding to calls for building sector decarbonization with the Zero Carbon Building Accelerator, which supports national and subnational governments in aligning their decarbonization efforts through coordinated roadmaps and action plans. The Zero Carbon Building Accelerator provides a pipeline of tools, best practices and financial solutions to the Building Efficiency Accelerator network. 

WRI also conducts research and provides technical assistance on fleet electric vehicle adoption, from municipal buses to school buses, and infrastructure changes needed to support the green energy transition.

Our practical resources help decision-makers succeed with policies, technologies and innovative investment strategies. Together, we deliver better buildings and transport, cleaner air and a more efficient built environment.