Transforming Urban Sustainability: new study reveals cities’ crucial contribution to meeting decarbonisation goals

New research on ScienceDirect sheds light on cities' key role in combating climate change and aligning local energy plans with national strategies.

30 Aug 2023 - PRESS RELEASE

Taking inspiration from the commitments and plans made by countries to address climate change, cities are becoming key participants in the effort to reach goals for reducing carbon emissions. Recognizing their importance within their countries’ energy systems, cities all around the globe are taking steps to become more sustainable.

In a recent scientific article, researchers propose a new method for transposing national energy planning to the local level. By further modelling the downscaled national energy measures, the study quantifies their potential impacts, supporting the establishment of realistic goals that align with national ambitions.

The research’s focus lies in demonstrating the methodology through a case study involving the Spanish city of Valencia and Spain’s national energy strategy. By comparing the measures included in both plans, the researchers identified disparities, with certain local measures outperforming the national plan while others proved inadequate. These findings emphasize the significance of considering a city’s real capacities and competences when setting energy measures and goals in accordance with national targets.

As cities continue to play a vital role in climate action, the correct downscaling and modelling of energy plans become crucial in accelerating urban decarbonisation. The research underscores the need for full coordination between national and local authorities to optimize the contribution of urban areas towards higher climate targets.

This research offers valuable insights for urban energy planners, policymakers, and stakeholders as they strive to create resilient and sustainable cities. As global communities unite in the fight against climate change, this study serves as a roadmap to empower cities and nations in achieving their shared climate goals.

For more information on this research, please refer to the full paper published in ScienceDirect or access it through