Over 100 global cities now powered by renewables

Over 100 cities around the world now obtain at least 70 per cent of their electricity from renewables. This is more than double the 40 cities that reported the same in 2015.

Cities are leading the way in the low-carbon revolution. According to data published on Tuesday by CDP, over 100 of the world’ cities are now getting at least 70 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources such as hydro, geothermal, solar and wind.

This list includes large cities such as Auckland (New Zealand), Nairobi (Kenya), Oslo (Norway), Seattle (USA) and Vancouver (Canada) and is more than double the 40 cities that were powered by at least 70 per cent clean energy in 2015.

Even more impressive is that over 40 cities now operate on 100 per cent renewable electricity, including Switzerland’s Basel and Iceland’s Reykjavík. In Basel, most of the electricity comes from hydropower, while Reykjavík is powered by both hydropower and geothermal. Iceland’s capital is also now working to make all cars and public transit fossil-free by 2040.

“Cities are responsible for 70 per cent of energy-related CO2 emissions and there is immense potential for them to lead on building a sustainable economy,” said Kyra Appleby, Director of Cities at CDP.

“Reassuringly, our data shows much commitment and ambition. Cities not only want to shift to renewable energy but, most importantly – they can… The time to act is now.”

The new data was released ahead of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) conference in Edmonton, Canada on 5th March, when city government and science leaders will meet on the role of cities in tackling climate change.

According to CDP, cities are currently initiating renewable energy developments valued at $2.3 billion, across nearly 150 projects. This forms part of a wider shift by cities to develop 1,000 clean infrastructure projects, such as electric transport and energy efficiency, worth over $52 billion.

Image credit: Bent Tranberg via Flickr

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