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Urban energy system co-benefits evaluation tool guidebook

This guidebook introduces the urban energy system co-benefits evaluation tool, a tool to assess climate co-benefits of the urban energy system based on its systemic characteristics.

Over half of the global population already lives in urban settlements and urban areas are projected to absorb almost all the global population growth in the near future. Over the coming decades the increase in urban population in many developing countries will be overshadowed by population flows to cities.

Energy-wise, the world is already predominantly urban. Available consumption-based energy accounts for cities are too limited to allow generalization but, it is highly likely that urban energy use (based on a consumption accounting approach) approximates the urban share in the world GDP, estimated to be some 80%. Of all the major determinants of urban energy use – climate, position in the global economy, consumption patterns, quality of the built environment, urban form and density, and urban energy systems and their integration – only the final three are amenable to policy making by city administrations, at least partially.

Therefore, both in terms of leverage and potentials, energy use –climate policy at the urban scale needs to focus above all on demand management with a focus on energy efficient buildings, structuring urban form and density conductive to energy efficient housing forms and to urban energy systems integration.

The co-benefits tool evaluates climate co-benefits of the urban energy system based on different scenarios of socioeconomic, technological and demographic developments. The tool relates systematically the climate change based on the specific energy demand in different sectors in cities to the corresponding social, economic and technological factors that affect this demand.

Read the Urban energy system co-benefits evaluation tool guidebook.