Systemic Efficiency Lays Blueprint for Net-Zero Carbon Cities

Systemic Efficiency Lays Blueprint for Net-Zero Carbon Cities

The World Economic Forum’s report “Net-Zero Carbon Cities: An Integrated Approach” recommends systemic efficiency as the path to decarbonizing cities by 2050.

Cities currently account for 70% of global emissions, 78% of primary energy consumption, and just half the global population. As climate change accelerates, achieving net-zero cities by mid-century will be critical to meeting climate goals.

Systemic efficiency takes a circular economy approach to water, waste, and materials, enabled by innovation in clean electrification, smart digital technology, and efficient buildings and infrastructure. Those technologies will be key to meeting four priorities for decarbonized cities: electrified transport, smart and efficient buildings, decarbonized heating and cooling, and energy supply-and-demand optimization. (Download the “Net-Zero Carbon Cities Systemic Efficiency” infographic here.)

“Systemic efficiency offers a holistic blueprint for decarbonized cities,” says ABB’s Thorsten Müller, a lead author of the WEF report and expert advisor on systemic efficiency to the WEF Energy and Materials Commission. “Businesses and governments can use this approach to rethink city planning, and create safe, smart and sustainable cities that flourish in good times and stand up to stress and crises.”

Read the full report: WEF_Net_Zero_Carbon_Cities_An_Integrated_Approach_2021.pdf (


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