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Climate Emergency, Urban Opportunity

How national governments can secure economic prosperity and avert climate catastrophe by transforming cities

Thriving cities make prosperous countries.

This report, a collaborative effort of more than 50 organisations brought together by the Coalition for Urban Transitions, outlines the immense social and economic benefits of creating compact, connected and clean cities with net-zero emissions, and presents a clear six-part action plan for national governments around the world.

Zero-carbon cities offer a powerful lever to secure economic prosperity and boost living standards across a country – all while tackling the climate crisis. City governments cannot realise this opportunity alone. National governments have unique and crucial roles to play.

Launched ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit, the report aims to support national governments’ efforts to unlock the economic and social benefits of inclusive, sustainable cities.

The Report quantifies the social, political, and economic benefits available to national governments willing to enable, empower, and invest in zero-carbon cities. Including original data analysis and case studies of successful national and local collaborations to improve quality of urban life, the report shows that a rapid urban transition is possible with engagement from national governments. By taking an active role in supporting sustainable urban development in their cities, national governments around the world can both drive economic prosperity and effectively play their part in addressing the global climate emergency.

“Cities are engines of growth, innovation and prosperity. This report shows how the right investments can build sustainable and liveable cities and communities that will help us achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the objectives of the Paris Agreement. It is possible and realistic to realize net-zero urban emissions by 2050. But to get there, we will need the full engagement of city governments combined with national action and support.”


António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations