Climate Emergency, Urban Opportunity: The unique and crucial roles of national governments


The Climate Emergency, Urban Opportunity report by the Coalition for Urban Transitions sets out the crucial role of national governments in creating successful cities that secure shared prosperity and climate safety. Its central message is that national governments that prioritise zero-carbon cities today will secure economic prosperity and better living standards tomorrow. Countries that do not embrace this transition will be left behind.

The Coalition for Urban Transitions has 36 stakeholders across five continents and aims to support national governments’ efforts to unlock the economic and social benefits of inclusive, zero-carbon cities.

This report responds to four developments that have heightened the urgency of strong climate action in cities, and the immense benefits that can flow to countries that show early leadership, namely:

  • Growing scientific evidence on the climate emergency.
  • Rising popular demand for ambitious action on climate change.
  • A stronger economic case for low-carbon policies and investments.
  • A window of opportunity to transform cities.

Climate Emergency, Urban Opportunity quantifies the social, environmental, and economic benefits available to national governments willing to enable, empower, and invest in zero-carbon cities. It aims to provide the evidence and confidence that governments need to submit more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions in 2020, and to propel inclusive, zero-carbon cities to the heart of their national development strategies.

The report also offers case studies from around the world where national and local governments have worked together to rapidly and profoundly transform their cities for the better, within two or three decades, including: Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, India, Indonesia, Namibia, Rwanda and South Korea.

Susan Parnell
S. Colenbrander
L. Lazar
C. Haddaoui
N. Godfrey
A. Lobo
H. Clarkson
R. Huxley
B. Smith
S. Smith
T. Altenburg
Sustainable Cities