Finding the balance between economic interests, ecological footprints and climate action

Passionate about energy, cities and campaigning:

Cities and Energy (CEC) is an international consultancy firm based in Hamburg, Germany. Most of our projects are focused on climate action, renewable energy and regenerative cities. Mandates include advocacy campaigns, policy advisory, research, dialogue formats and project management. Our work is inspired by the vision of re-establishing a harmonic relationship between human wellbeing and intact natural ecosystems. Therefore, CEC is passionate about embracing the day-to-day challenge of finding the balance between economic interests and ecologic footprints

Cities and Energy Consulting builds on a broad range of expertise and experience in the field of renewable energy, regenerative cities, management and campaigning. It works closely with business leaders, policymakers and international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO's).

Cities and Energy Consulting
-initiates, coordinates and runs projects and campaigns for different stakeholders
-offers policy and market analysis and strategic advise
-develops capacity building and campaigning concepts

The global energy transition:

The discovery of fossil fuels cleared the path for industrialisation with the automation and acceleration of work processes. It ignited a vicious cycle of burning fossil fuels to build bigger machines to drill for more oil, gas and coal to gain capacity for an even bigger technical exhaustion of fossil fuels. Nearly all attributes of the modern age to emerge around 1900 were related to the availability of previously unknown quantities of oil, gas and coal: electricity, mobility, mass production, speed and large-scale infrastructure measures. Between 1950 and 2000 the increase of global demand for fossil fuels went up by 500%. This had devastating consequences for the environment – the pollution of the air and our flora and fauna and the rapidly increasing emissions of greenhouse gases that cause climate chaos. A change in direction is indispensable - and doable. Staying below the dangerous benchmark of 1.5°C is indeed still possible. Transforming our cities into regenerative systems, upscaling renewable energy, protecting our land, forests and ocean from degradation, establishing a truly sustainable foodsystem or decarbonising the supply chains are at the heart of the endeavor.
The energy sector is about to transition from a vertical to a horizontal structure — from a centralized, hierarchical, supplier-centric energy infrastructure to decentralized, customer-centric and participatory energy generation and distribution models. Most of the existing energy markets are characterized by these complex centralized infrastructures: a vertical supply chain. Whereas future energy markets are decentralized, with a horizontal supply chain and where benefits are widely distributed among new actors and stakeholders, including individual citizens and small businesses. This is the direction where the future business models of the energy utilities will have to adapt. An example of this can be found in the Energiewende in Germany: more than one third of the electricity consumption is coming from renewable sources such as onshore wind and solar PV which are the major contributors. These are primarily owned by citizens, energy cooperatives, farmers and small to medium-sized companies. This public participation creates enormous added value for a society.

Regenerative Cities:

The design and functioning of cities is the key to sustainable development. As the international community turns increasingly towards cities and calls upon them to find effective solutions to the world ́s most pressing issues, cities remain at the center of where the improvements can be achieved. Therefore it is important to engage with a role model for cities that aids regenerative urban space, helping to regenerate the resources that are absorbed and that improves the quality of life of cities. The concept of a regenerative city was dveloped by an international group of urban planers, architects, climate scientists and energy experts between 2009 and 2012. The term builds on the concept of sustainable development but goes beyond that. It puts emphasis on the need for cities not to only to sustain but to actively regenerate the ressources they absorb. Regenerative cities strive not only to stop consuming natural resources at a rate which is faster than ecosystems can recover, but reverse the trend by actively improving the regenerative capacity of ecosystems they rely on. And it adresses the need to also regenerate public space in cities in favour of urban life and people rather than individual car use.

Exemplary Projects and References:

Current projects examples:

➢ Senior Advisory mandate for the Aid by Trade Foundation

➢ Strategic Advisory Mandate for the Climate, Energy and Cities Department of the World Future Council Foundation

Previous projects:

➢ Research on Local Reneawable Energy Development Strategies (European Commission)

➢ Beyond Fire (2015/2016): A report that was conducted (and updated in 2020) with the WFC on sustainable cooking together with the Dutch Hivos Foundation analysing the technical potential of using renewable electricity for cooking purposes in rural Africa. Across the world, 3 billion people rely on traditional biomass fuels, such as firewood, charcoal or animal dung to meet their energy needs for cooking, causing serious adverse consequences for the environment, health, and economic development of the population. Reliance on wood and charcoal for cooking has a number of well-recorded negative effects, including deforestation, soil erosion or loss of biodiversity. Exposure to household air pollution from cooking with solid fuels causes 4.3 million premature deaths according to the World Health Organisation. Link

beyond fire

➢ Power to the People (2010-2016): An advocacy project by the WFC that ran for several years to help accelerate the deployment of renewable energy in African countries. This project included policy research, public engagement elements and alliance building. Link

power to the people

➢ Global 100% Renewable Energy Campaign (since 2012): A global advocacy campaign initated by the WFC and others advocating ambitious renewable energy targets on the regional, national and international levels. Link

Global 100% Renewable Energy Campaign
Current project examples:

➢ Senior Advisory mandate for the establishment of the Toni Piëch Foundation

➢ Consultancy mandate for strategic planning and further project development within the Competence Center for Urban Development in Sachsen-Anhalt

Previous projects:

➢ International Expert Commission on Cities and Climate Change (2009-2011): An international group of 40 climate experts, renowned architects, urban planners and policymakers that worked for some three years on a new role model for sustainable cities. This resulted in the 'regenerative city' concept which has become official UN language. It's one out nine key recommendations by the UN lead World Urban Campaign. the concept of a Regenerative City suggests that cities constantly regenerate the resspurces they absorb. Link

International Expert Commission on Cities and Climate Change

Future of Cities Forum (since 2011): A conference series on the Future of Cities founded by the WFC with annual high-level gatherings in different parts of the world including India, United Arab Emirates, Germany, Uganda, China and others. Link

Future of Cities Forum

➢ Regenerative Cities in China: Judged by either it's speed or scale, China has fully exceeded developed countries in urbanization progress. The magnificent scale of cities and rapid urbanization in China make sustainable development a priority that not only concerns Chinese policy-makers, but also draws attentions from the entire world. The WFC launched the Regenerative Cities program in 2015 to stand with China in meeting the inevitable challenges that occur during sustainable urbanization reform. After one year of trial and error, 2016 marked the second year since the WFC initiated the Regenerative Cities program. Link

Future of Cities Forum
Current project examples:

F20 – foundations platform: The F20 Foundations Platform convenes more than 60 foundations and philanthropic organizations from different parts of the world in order to further shape the political discourse on future sustainability measures in the context of the G20 states and beyond. F20 provides a platform to foundations that want to be part of the solution - namely implementing the Paris Climate Agreement and accelerating the transition towards renewable energy. The F20 Head Office is hosted by the Hamburg based Environmental Foundation Michael Otto. CEC is managing the F20 secretariat and coordinates its activities.

beyond fire
F20 summit in Hamburg July 2017

➢ Support of the Business Declaration on ambitous climate action of the the Stiftung 2°