While making buildings more energy-efficient is the cheapest way to reduce emissions, the energy efficiency improvement rate is actually slowing down. Eskişehir, a Turkish city of 870,000, is showing cities around the world how they can lead on building efficiency.
Because countries' commitments and cities, local governments and businesses can only do so much to keep climate impacts from reaching the most dangerous levels, we need to strengthen the mutually reinforcing relationship between national and subnational climate action. Bogota, Colombia, shows how this relationship can work.
Market signals and political will to decarbonize the buildings sector are still missing. But in surprising places, from Mexico to India to Kenya to China, net or nearly-zero-carbon buildings are emerging.
Representatives from countries accounting for 90 percent of the world’s clean energy investment and 75 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions will gather in Beijing this week for the 8th Clean Energy Ministerial. Will they advance renewable energy and efficiency, or will the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement set the talks back?
New research from the International Energy Agency shows that cities represent 70 percent of the cost-effective emissions-reduction opportunities between now and 2050. Director for Sustainability Kamel Ben Naceur shared this and other findings at a recent WRI event.