The Mission Innovation ‘Urban Transitions’ mission will provide roadmaps for urban environments to deliver clean energy innovation

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND (09 November 2021): Today, at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM), the European Commission, Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) Urban Europe, and Mission Innovation (MI) launched the cities- focused Urban Transitions mission, a joint effort to mobilize and support 50 pilot cities worldwide to implement large-scale clean energy demonstration projects by 2030.

With cities soon accounting for more than 75 percent of global energy consumption and more than half of the world’s population living in urban areas, the climate and energy challenge is clearly an urban one, in which delivery at scale will need concerted effort from both national and local level leaders as well as public-private partnerships.

Through Urban Transitions, GCoM, the European Commission, JPI Urban Europe and Mission Innovation will co-develop with the 50 pilot cities customized roadmaps for innovation, implementation, and investment to deploy clean energy solutions across all aspects of urban life—housing, transport, energy and materials, production, and consumption—to accelerate a climate-neutral urban energy transition. The roadmaps ─ which will be reviewed and refined by 250 cities ─ will consider available and new technologies, investment frameworks, data, finance, and policy innovation, as well as complementary initiatives to achieve both simplification and efficiency gains.

To ensure global coverage and awareness, a modular and customizable format of the roadmaps will be shared with GCoM’s alliance of over 11,000 cities, encouraging as many cities as possible to transition to 100 percent sustainable energies by 2030, while providing reliable and affordable energy.

The roadmaps and learnings from the pilot cities will also be accessible to urban leaders outside of the pilot program through the GCoM and JPI Urban Europe network, Global Knowledge Center, and an annual Innovation Summit to showcase leading solutions. The Urban Transitions mission will also be supported by a global innovation alliance that includes over 10 MI member governments, private-sector partners, and youth organizations.

These efforts are in support of the Urban Transitions mission goals to:

  • Integrate energy transition efforts across sectors and levels of government;
  • Accelerate the implementation of new, clean energy technologies within the environment, mobility and transport, industry and energy sectors building on essential enablers such as data, finance, and policy innovation;
  • Drive research and development on successful integration of energy end-use and supply across sectors based on joint needs;
  • Identify and disseminate reliable and affordable urban energy solutions within regional contexts;
  • Shift the energy system by increasing efficiency and increasing accessibility by lowering technology and implementation costs; and
  • Show how integrated and clean urban energy grids and operation systems are an achievable, reliable, and affordable energy solution for urban populations around the world.

“Mayors are trailblazers in the race to net zero. They are bringing cleaner air and greener spaces to their citizens, electrifying public transport, and rolling out bicycle lanes to make cities a better place to live in.” Frans Timmermans, European Commission Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, and Co-Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors.

“Cities are where the problems are and also where the solutions are. They have the creativity we need to win the battle against climate change, and are the key to a healthier, safer, and stronger future.” Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions, Founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Co-Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors.

GCoM and Mission Innovation entered a formal partnership in May of 2019 to accelerate the transition to clean energy by increasing collaboration, research, and innovation among cities, regions, and national governments with the private sector and civil society. Through the partnership, MI and GCoM have worked together to identify and deliver on shared innovation priorities across the city level and ensure cities are utilizing all available tools, innovations, and technologies available to them as they transition to clean, renewable energy.

About the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM) GCoM is the largest global alliance for city climate leadership, uniting a global coalition of over 11,000 cities and local governments and 100+ supporting partners. The cities and partners of GCoM share a long-term vision of supporting voluntary action to combat climate change and towards a resilient and low-emission society. GCoM serves cities and local governments by mobilizing and supporting ambitious, measurable, planned climate and energy action in their communities by working with city/regional networks, national governments, and other partners to achieve our vision. Led today by UN Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions Michael R. Bloomberg and European Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans, the coalition comprises cities across 6 continents and 142 countries, representing over 1 billion people or more than 13% of the global population.

To learn more about GCoM, please visit our website, or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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