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Our Model

Our Model

The District Energy in Cities Initiative is a multi-stakeholder partnership coordinated by UN Environment, with financial support from DANIDA, the Global Environment Facility, and the Italian Ministry of Environment and Protection of Land and Sea.

As one of six accelerators of the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform, the Initiative aims to double the rate of energy efficiency improvements for heating and cooling in buildings by 2030, helping countries meet their climate and sustainable development targets.

The Initiative supports local and national governments to build know-how and implement enabling policies that will accelerate investment in low-carbon and climate-resilient district energy systems. It currently provides technical support to cities in four pilot countries (Chile, China, India and Serbia) and ten replication countries (Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Egypt, Malaysia, Mongolia, Morocco, Russia, the Seychelles and Tunisia).

We create a market for district energy by:

  • increasing awareness of the potential of district energy and its role in achieving multiple socio-economic and environmental benefits;
  • demonstrating viability through pilot projects, thereby strengthening the capacities of city planners, policymakers and stakeholders to implement district energy projects;
  • creating an enabling regulatory framework that will unlock private sector investment and ensure sustainable implementation;
  • replicating our approach in different cities in the same region to foster industry growth;
  • exchanging experiences between city/country partners on district energy innovation and best practice through a 'cities for cities' twinning process. 
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