Champion cities

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In 2013, UN Environment initiated research on low-carbon cities worldwide to identify the key factors underlying their success in scaling up energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as in attaining targets for zero or low greenhouse gas emissions. District energy systems emerged as a best practice approach for providing a local, affordable and low-carbon energy supply, and represented a significant opportunity for other cities to move towards climate-resilient, resource-efficient and low-carbon pathways. The Initiative's global methodology and best practice recommendations on technology, policy and finance were formulated based on surveys and expert interviews with 150 respondents in 65 cities, as well as with industry and finance experts, numerous consultations workshops and review of city planning documents, policies and publications. These consultations gained varied perspectives on the necessary parameters to ensure successful design, implementation and operations of modern district energy systems, including the barriers, challenges, successes and lessons learned.

Among the 65 cities researched, UN Environment identified 45 champion cities and developed numerous case studies to illustrate best practice technologies, policies, business models, coordination structures and financing. These champion cities are listed below and this Wiki contains details on some of their best practices. As the Initiative expands its work, new champion cities will be identified and detailed.