Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Headlines

The “Climate Emergency, Urban Opportunity” Report by the Coalition for Urban Transitions

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SEOUL, Republic of Korea, Sep 24 2019 - The Coalition for Urban Transitions recently released a report titled Climate Emergency, Urban Opportunity: How national governments can secure economic prosperity and avert climate catastrophe by transforming cities. The report indicates the numerous benefits of prioritizing zero-carbon cities and provides national governments with six key priorities for actions to take to achieve a successful urban transition.

The key findings by the report indicated that zero carbon cities can bring significant economic advantages, indicating that “investments in low-carbon measures in cities would provide a return of at least US$23.9 trillion by 2050”.

Climate Emergency, Urban Opportunity quantifies the social, environmental, and economic benefits that are available to national governments who invest in zero-carbon cities. Under the overarching message that “National governments that prioritize zero-carbon cities today will secure economic prosperity and better living standards tomorrow,” the report provides original data analysis and case studies of successful national and local collaborations to improve the quality of urban life and features how a rapid urban transition is possible with engagement from national governments.

The report suggests six key priorities on which national governments should act:


  • Develop an overarching strategy to deliver shared prosperity while reaching net-zero emissions – and place cities at its heart.
  • Align national policies behind compact, connected, clean cities.
  • Fund and finance sustainable urban infrastructure.
  • Coordinate and support local climate action in cities.
  • Build a multilateral system that fosters inclusive, zero-carbon cities.
  • Proactively plan for a just urban transition.


Beyond its messages to national governments of the benefits the transition brings, the report also depicts the price of inaction; as the global temperature increases, so does the threat it poses to both countries and cities. A key message of the report states that “the battle for our future will be won or lost in cities. Cities are home to more than half the world’s population and are responsible for 80% of global GDP – and three quarters of energy-related carbon emissions”.

Today, only a handful of countries have a national strategy for cities. Therefore, the report seeks to elicit action from national governments to change this, for countries to create resilient, prosperous cities, further economic development, and effectively respond to the climate emergency.

GGGI’s Head of Green Cities, Donovan Storey, and Green Cities Officer, Aarsi Sagar, contributed to the newly released Climate Emergency, Urban Opportunity report by the Coalition for Urban Transitions, which is the leading global initiative dedicated to supporting national governments unlock the economic power of inclusive, zero-carbon cities. GGGI was one of 50 leading international organizations that collaborated on the report ahead of the Climate Action Summit and Sustainable Development Goals Summit in New York.

To read the entire report, key messages, priorities for national governments, and more information, visit here:


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