C40, a climate-focused network of mayors of nearly 100 large cities, and Google announced today the launch of a new 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy for Cities program, aimed at enabling cities to run entirely on clean energy around the clock.

Cities form a major focus area for climate action, accounting for over 65% of the world’s energy consumption and more than 70% of global CO2 emissions. The new program looks to help develop and implement strategies, practices and tools to enable cities to achieve 24/7 carbon free energy (24/7 CFE) and support cities seeking to lead in the energy transition.

C40 Executive Director Mark Watts said:

“C40 cities are showing once again that they are doers, not delayers. By embracing innovation and partnership,  they are not only helping to explore the 24/7 carbon-free energy concept but they are accelerating the energy transition, phasing out expensive and volatile fossil fuels that are the root of the energy costs crisis.”

The program will kick off with initial pilot cities, including London, Copenhagen and Paris, each focusing on a different challenge related to decarbonizing urban electricity consumption.  Focus areas for the pilots will include time-matched clean energy procurement for municipal operations, shifting energy use to times of day when solar and wind resources are most abundant, and expanding local clean energy through mini-grids and battery storage. The pilots will also explore policy and market reforms to expand clean energy access and to ensure that residents realize clean economic, employment and health benefits of the clean energy transition.

Sadiq Khan, C40 Chair and Mayor of London, said:

“The main cause of the climate emergency is fossil fuels, so I’m calling on cities around the world to join London and commit to rapidly phasing out their use. This partnership with Google is another crucial step in phasing out fossil fuels, reducing carbon emissions and building a better, greener London for everyone.”

Google parent Alphabet announced a 24/7 CFE ambition in 2020, aiming to run its entire business on carbon-free energy by 2030, in addition to goals including helping 500 cities reduce their carbon emissions, with a target to reduce 1 billion tons of carbon emissions annually by 2030.

Under the new collaboration, Google will offer the partner cities expertise based on its own 24/7 CFE efforts, including data and critical policy and market reforms, and the company will also provide funding of $900,000 for the program.

Caroline Golin, Global Head of Energy Market Development and Policy at Google, said:

“At Google, we set the goal of operating on 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030 both to decarbonise our own operations and to accelerate the decarbonisation of electricity grids globally. We’ve always known that we cannot achieve this goal alone, and we believe cities have a critical role to play in driving the systems-level changes that are needed to deliver a  carbon-free energy future.”

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