Cities might be burning three times more energy in 2050 than they did in 2005—unless they act now.
Currently, more than half of the world’s people live in cities. Given the trend of jobs returning to urban centers, it may not be surprising that by 2030 the world’s cities will be home to 60 percent of the world’s population. Cities are adapting to accommodate the growing population by becoming sustainable and green.
Yet assuming that the current rapid pace of population growth continues, cities will be burning three times more energy per capita in 2050 than they did in 2005 despite their “green” efforts. Even with increasing favor toward public transport in the first world’s largest cities, the cities with the greatest opportunity to reduce energy use are those in the still-developing second world, particularly in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.