For all cities to reach net zero emissions, transformational change in all sectors will be required. Addressing emission sources will be central to this challenge. Fortunately, there are a range of technologies and innovative solutions that can be implemented and deployed to drastically cut these emissions. These technologies and solutions need to cover all main emission domains. This includes buildings, industry and transport, waste treatment (both solid waste and wastewater), agriculture and forestry, and, of course, energy from fossil fuels (whether from the power grid energy supply or district heating networks, or other).
Cities are already working hard to deploy technological solutions. In this regard, there is much to learn from peers to accelerate implementation of new solutions. The EU Commission has identified seven priorities for technological action, which are presented below. That said, in order to implement these solutions effectively, cities will also need to activate a number of instruments (systemic levers). These levers include planning and governance, policy and regulation
, democracy aspects
, social innovation
, financing mechanisms
, and capacity building