For long-term storage of renewable energy, the electrochemical carbon dioxide reduction reaction (CO2RR) offers a promising option for converting electricity to permanent forms of chemical energy. In this work, we present highly selective ethylene production dependent upon the catalyst morphology using copper oxide nanoparticles. The branched CuO nanoparticles were synthesized and then deposited on conductive carbon materials. After activation, the major copper species changed to Cu+, and the resulting electrocatalyst exhibited a high Faradaic efficiency (FE) of ethylene reaching over 70% and a hydrogen FE of 30% without any byproducts in a neutral aqueous solution. The catalyst also showed high durability (up to 12 h) with the ethylene FE over 65%. Compared to cubic morphology, the initial branched copper oxide structure formed highly active domains with interfaces and junctions in-between during activation, which caused large surface area with high local pH leading to high selectivity and activity for ethylene production.