Can cities drive global growth and climate security?

  • economy
  • environment
  • knowledge society

NCE wants to hear from city leaders and decision makers by 4 April 2014 to gather valuable input on the economic advantages, risks and barriers to taking climate action

The New Climate Economy (NCE) is a project to gather evidence on the link between those actions which strengthen economic performance and those that tackle climate change. The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, a major new international initiative to examine the relationship between economic growth and climate risk, is behind the research. The NCE will report on its findings in September 2014, ahead of the UN Climate Summit, and aims to feed into global discussion on the future of economic growth and climate action.

The project includes a specific workstream on cities, led by LSE Cities. Cities are central to the debate on increasing global economic prosperity, with 70% of the world’s population estimated to live in urban areas by 2050. Urban development is a driver behind economic growth, increasing productivity, providing economies of scale, infrastructure, and acting as testbeds for innovation. But many of these actions have a negative impact on greenhouse gas emissions, with cities linked to up to 80% of global emissions.

Tackling these challenges requires coordinated action between national and local policy makers. Emerging evidence suggests that economic growth and climate action can be compatible, or even complementary. Urban planning and organisation of public transport are key contributors to both economic growth and carbon emissions, while new technologies can help change the way cities function to deliver economic growth and climate benefits.

This is an opportunity for cities to build new models of economic growth, which not only drives prosperity but protects the climate, reduces emissions and brings with it health benefits for citizens. Many cities are already recognising this potential, but others find it challenging to make the economic case for climate action. Strong, reliable evidence is needed to encourage cities that this can be achieved. That’s why NCE is gathering evidence, best practice and examples of how cities are driving growth without driving up emissions, and how they are overcoming the associated risks and barriers.

Submit your experiences by 4 April 2014 by visiting