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This report identifies modern district energy as the most effective approach for many cities to transition to sustainable heating and cooling, by improving energy efficiency and enabling higher shares of renewables. This publication is among the first to provide concrete policy, finance and technology best practice guidance on addressing the heating and cooling sectors in cities through energy efficiency improvements and the integration of renewables. The recommendations have been developed in collaboration with 45 “champion” cities, all of which use modern district energy, and 11 of which have set targets for either carbon neutrality or a 100 per cent renewable energy supply. This report is also the first to consolidate data on the multiple benefits that cities, countries and regions have achieved through the use of modern district energy, in an effort to support evidence-based policy recommendations and to raise awareness of the significance of the heating and cooling sectors, which have been insufficiently addressed in the climate and energy debate.

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