Urban Climate Neutrality


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Cities are an important engine for global economic growth and socio-economic development. By 2030, almost 5 billion people (about 60 per cent of the global population) will live in cities, leading to massive requirements for energy to power growth and expand basic infrastructure. Energy efficiency can offer practical solutions to budget-constrained cities to meet their energy needs without sacrificing development or environmental priorities. In recent years, cities have increasingly been recognised as an influential tier of decision-making in relation to the global clean energy transition underway.

Recognizing the urgency of this issue, the UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre (UNEP-CCC), with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Denmark, has initiated the Global Platform for Urban Climate Neutrality (GPUC). This platform aims to bolster understanding and activities for sustainable energy transitions, specifically targeting carbon neutrality in urban areas. The Danish support to UNEP for the UNEP-CCC contributes to achieving the ambition of both the Danish Strategy for Development Corporation “The World We Share” and the Danish Global Climate Action Strategy.

At its core, GPUC aims to establish a one-stop-shop to provide cities in developing and emerging economies with quick access to information, technical solutions, capacity building and technical support for the implementation of energy efficiency and achieving climate neutrality targets. Moreover, cities can learn from each other on the GPUC platform on specific topics. The final objective is to accelerate the process of intervention design, implementation, and replication of energy efficiency in cities for their long-term targets of carbon neutrality in developing countries and emerging economies. The focus will be on a continuation of work developed in previous periods, for example in India, Indonesia, and Vietnam, among others.

The similarity of interventions across like-minded cities allows for the standardization of various processes and procedures of the intervention cycle, including planning, evaluation, design, matchmaking, and procurement. In this way, GPUC aims to mitigate risks, ease the establishment of monitoring frameworks, and enable the dissemination of lessons learnt and further replication. Active knowledge management forms an integral part of the GPUC. Meanwhile, GPUC sustains a platform for knowledge sharing among cities and other relevant stakeholders, technical solution providers and financing institutions.

The full implementation of this activity counts since the beginning with the support from the German Energy Agency (DENA) which brings in not only technical expertise but a proportional amount of funding as well as their network. The Secretariat of the GPUC will be managed on a fifty-fifty between the Centre and Dena, taking advantage of the capacities of both organizations. For the full implementation of the energy efficiency opportunities in cities, sources of finance will be identified by both parties, but Dena will have a prominent role in bridging German-related sources, such as KfW, DGNB, and Mitigation Action Facility, among others.


The Danish Energy Agency and the China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute, in partnership with UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre, have established a Sino-Danish Clean and Renewable Heating Centre to share and inspire each other with best practices in energy mapping, heat planning, legislation, technical and real-life applications of clean and renewable heating.

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India through Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) under Ministry of Power (MoP) has partnered with UNEP, UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre (UNEP CCC), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) under the framework of GPUC program, to promote sustainable cooling solutions in Indian cities and national policies.

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