Radically reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires urgent and transformative action at scale. Quick technological fixes are not enough. The problems cities face in mitigating and adapting to climate change are complex, rooted in technological, economic, financial
, organisational, political, cultural and social systems. These are all interconnected and constantly adapting to one another, meaning their interdependencies can block necessary change. Inherited structures - such as planning policies, existing infrastructure, deeply ingrained organisational and/or individual practices and mindsets - can reinforce the status quo and get in the way of necessary transformations.
Systems innovation means intervening across existing systems, in a coordinated way, to unlock pathways towards climate-neutrality. To do this, a deep understanding of local systems is necessary, as well as connecting climate actions in whole-city cross-sectoral portfolios and intentionally collaborating with many actors - locally and across all levels of governance.