12 decarbonising technologies for cities

Join me today for the launch of new research on decarbonisation in cities. I am the project director of the study, produced by Economist Impact and commissioned by Osborne Clarke. It explores 12 technologies that can help cities achieve their carbon-emission targets while also creating jobs, lowering energy costs for residents, and improving overall quality of life.

The launch event can be accessed here.

Key findings:

  • Technologies that support efficiency across key sectors will have the greatest impact on urban decarbonisation. For example, green/cool roofs, dynamic/high-performing glass, and smart grids/smart meters all improve energy efficiency and score well in the impact category of our research. In addition to reducing greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, many of these technologies have additional benefits, including lower costs for consumers, job creation and better quality of life.
  • Nascent, ‘smart’ technologies (such as autonomous vehicles, Mobility as a Service and digital twins) could also reduce GHG emissions, but evidence on the efficacy of these technologies can be patchy and more rigorous research is required. Their impact would be greatly enhanced if fuelled by renewable energy sources.
  • Greater public and private investment is required. Among the ten cities studied, policies or funding were only available for an average of 16 out of the 26 technologies researched. Private investors could support cities looking to implement technologies with high upfront costs. Meanwhile, public funding is required to incentivise citizen uptake of decarbonising technologies.

The full research programme can be found here.

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