Approaching net-zero carbon buildings

The Clean Energy Network supports cities in planning and implementing ambitious low carbon energy programmes for electricity, heating or cooling that will help them deliver net-zero carbon buildings and a renewable electricity supply by 2030.

Deadline 2020 estimates that 29% of building emissions in C40 cities are associated with the supply of electricity. While cities cannot decarbonise energy systems alone, they have an essential role to play in accelerating the energy transition. Key actions that cities can take include setting clear decarbonisation goals, leading by example through shifting their consumption to renewables, promoting decentralised energy generation, aggregating demand for renewables, promoting energy efficiency and shifting more urban energy consumption to electricity (e.g. transport and heat). 

This network, led by Vancouver, supports cities to take transformative action on clean and renewable energy (such as wind, solar, geothermal, sustainable biomass, hydropower, etc). The objectives of the network are to maximise GHG emissions reductions and move away from fossil fuels while improving resilience and maximizing social, economic and health benefits for all.

Focus areas:
  • 100% clean energy targets and roadmaps 
    Planning and beginning implementation of ambitious citywide renewable energy plans aiming for 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and 100% clean energy by 2050 (including governance structure, stakeholder engagement, procurement options, financial incentives, technological innovation, energy systems integration, etc.).
  • Large-scale clean energy generation 
    Generating or procuring energy from large installations inside or outside the city’s boundaries for municipal operations or through aggregating demand from large energy consumers using various business models.
  • Building-scale clean energy generation 
    Deploying clean energy systems on municipal assets and incentivising decentralised clean energy production on private assets through support mechanisms, innovative business models and regulatory actions.
  • Decarbonising thermal energy
    Shifting residual heating and cooling demand to clean energy alternatives such as heat pumps, renewables-based district energy systems, switch, etc.
  • Strengthening inclusivity and equity
    Developing energy policies and programmes that advance social justice objectives and that leave no one behind through creating jobs for all and maximising social and economic benefits that are equitably distributed.
  • Resilient, innovative energy systems
    Improving the security of clean energy systems and ensuring reliability of the grid through microgrids, decentralised generation, clean fuels and battery storage, and mainstreaming clean energy into municipal adaptation plans.

The Clean Energy Network is complemented by a Clean Energy Technical Assistance Programme that supports selected cities in implementing ambitious actions that are in line with keeping global temperature rise to 1.5°C. Outcomes from this programme are shared broadly through the network.

This work is part of the C40 Buildings & Energy Programme, generously supported by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and ClimateWorks Foundation.