World Economic Forum

Net-Zero Carbon Cities

Urban Ecosystems are the epicentre of global energy demand and emissions as cities currently host over half the world’s population, consume 78% of the world’s primary energy and create more than 70% of all carbon emissions.

By 2050, the percentage of all people living in cities is projected to rise to 68%, resulting in even higher energy consumption, infrastructure need and, therefore, potential carbon emissions.

The need for collective, multi-sectoral action to accelerate emissions reduction is urgent, as is the need to deliver a system which is both resilient and equitable. Clean electrification, digitalization and circularity are key enablers of the needed change.

“Cities are where the climate battle will largely be won or lost”

—– António Guterres, UN Secretary-General

The World Economic Forum’s Net Zero Carbon Cities (NZCC) programme brings together businesses with city, regional and national level government to accelerate urban transitions to a net zero future.

The program’s objective is to align and scale efforts across business, city, and national-level governments to deliver urban ecosystems which are sustainable, resilient, and equitable. The program aims to enable transformation towards clean electrification and circularity, using integrated energy solutions to address energy, buildings and mobility.

Our Approach

Promote the adoption of integrated net-zero solutions

An integrated approach to urban transformation

Systemic Efficiency is a delivery mechanism that encompasses clean electrification, smart digital technology, and efficient buildings and infrastructure.

Read our framework

Multi-sectoral engagement across the full urban value chain

Collaboration throughout the entire value chain

Participating stakeholders comprise leaders from across 10 sectors, all committed to breaking silos within the urban ecosystem.


Building communities of action with national, city and business stakeholders collaborating for accelerated action

Public-private dialogues for change

Participate in showcase events and knowledge exchanges to shape the transition of urban ecosystems with public and private leaders around the world. 

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