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Celebrating the Coalition for Urban Transitions

Following five years of supporting and advocating for national government leadership on sustainable, prosperous and equitable cities, the Coalition for Urban Transitions will sunset at the end of 2021. A special initiative of the New Climate Economy (NCE), the Coalition was jointly managed by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.

Formed on the sidelines of COP21 in Paris, the Coalition for Urban Transitions has put zero-carbon, resilient and inclusive cities firmly on the agenda of national governments the world over. Through a partnership of over 35 leading institutions across five continents, the Coalition made the case for national action on cities around the world, with other major institutions embracing and scaling up this agenda.

The Coalition developed locally led country programmes that influenced the creation of national urban development policy and urban financing frameworks in a variety of countries, including China, Mexico, Tanzania and Ghana. In China, the Coalition’s recommendations helped make sustainable cities a priority in the 14th Five Year Plan. In Colombia, its research and engagement directly influenced the procurement of nearly 500 electric buses in Bogotá.

The Coalition’s global programmes provided rigorous and timely research into the economic case for compact, connected, clean cities and the opportunities for reshaping national policy, finance, mobility and energy systems to support this transformation. The Coalition engaged extensively with prominent multi-lateral and national institutions as well as non-profits and companies around global program work. Many of these organisations made new commitments to or displayed enhanced recognition of the importance of national policies to transform cities.

Through two global flagship reports, backed by 50 organisations and the UN Secretary General, the Coalition showcased the opportunity that cities represent for national governments to achieve shared economic prosperity and climate safety. Original analysis by the Coalition showed that investments in proven low-carbon measures could cut 90% of emissions from cities globally and provide a return of nearly $24 trillion by 2050.

The legacy of the Coalition remains evident not only in its direct impact, but in the ongoing work of its members and partners. Resources and knowledge products continue to be accessible through, providing a diverse range of analysis and policy recommendations to support national governments in investing in and promoting low-carbon, resilient and inclusive cities.

Cities continue to represent a huge socio-economic opportunity but they cannot unlock their potential alone; they need national government support. The work of the Coalition will continue through its dedicated partners and in particular through ongoing partnership between WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and C40 Cities.