London and beyond: Taking a closer look at urban energy policy
This paper considers the field of urban energy policy, a neglected yet important topic. Cities account for approximately two-thirds of global primary energy consumption creating significant benefits and costs. As a result there has been growing interest in the contribution of cities to global energy policy issues such as climate change but a number of significant questions remain: e.g. how do energy policy processes differ between national and urban scales, and how can cities contribute most effectively to global policy goals? We present the results of interviews with key stakeholders in London to illustrate some unique features of the urban energy policy cycle. We then take a wider view, proposing a research agenda with three key goals: describing the global variety of urban energy consumption and policy; understanding the resulting diversity in responsibility, vulnerability and capacity; and developing shared procedures and solutions. Tackling these questions is vital if cities are to contribute fully to current energy policy efforts.
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