Urbanization is one of the global megatrends of our time, unstoppable and irreversible. In 30 years, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas; 90 per cent of this urban growth will take place in less developed regions such as East Asia, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. These are regions where capacity and resources are already constrained, and development challenges are ever more complex and concentrated.
Cities must address climate change. More than half of the world’s population is urban, and cities emit 75% of all carbon dioxide from energy use1. Meeting the target of the 2015 Paris climate agreement to keep warming well below 2° C above pre-industrial levels requires staying within a ‘carbon budget’ and emitting no more than around 800 gigatonnes of CO2 in total after 2017.