The 1300 cities that have renewable energy transition targets is a habitat of one billion people

In 2020, the number of cities aiming to eliminate fossil fuels and instead use renewable energy had increased. After all, the number of cities with targets or policies promoting renewable energy had increased. The figure stood at over 1300 by the end of last year. The people living in those areas are not less than one billion, accounting for a quarter of the population living in urban areas globally. Forty-three cities took extreme stands of banning fossil fuels such as gas and diesel partially and in other cases entirely. The number was a fivefold increase from the one recorded in the previous year.

According to the REN21 report, cities’ contribution to the global population is up to 55%. Interestingly, despite being slightly higher than the rest of the people, the energy it uses is up to 75% of the power consumed. Consequently, it is also responsible for the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions. It is also important to note that national governments are preparing to attend the COP26 U.N. climate conference to be held in Glasgow come November. As they prepare, the call of cutting emissions drastically as increasing aiming to meet global climate targets. Not even the municipal authorities have been left behind in achieving these goals. Rana Adib, executive director of REN21, said that the huge responsibility of dealing with this energy transition lies in the cities.

She added that the coronavirus global pandemic led to the health of residents becoming a public debate. As a result of that, the pressure to shift to clean energy in the cities increased. After all, it exposed the dire need for reducing pollution in the cities. Fortunately, the cities are taking various actions to deal with the issue. One of them is setting targets concerning the deadline of raising the power grid’s share of renewable energy. Options include wind and solar power. Other actions include incentives and regulations promoting renewables usage in cooling, heating, transport, and power.

As far as the report is concerned, Europe and North America are leading in many cities. Eight hundred thirty cities and 72 countries have set renewable energy targets, even if it is only in a single sector. However, national policy is restricting many cities to a greater extent. An excellent example is a scenario where federal and state governments are offering subsidies to fossil fuel customers. Due to their supremacy, the cities can’t do anything about it. Some of the things encouraging cities are examples from cities that have made it and competition amongst them.