Policy brief: From isolated projects to integrated vision
By on 3 mars 2017
It is time to move beyond the era of pilot projects and embrace a fully integrated and strategic vision, said Energy Cities President Eckart Wurzner at the launch of the European Covenant of Mayors Political Board last February 10th.
Time indeed to go faster and deeper in our energy transition. Time for the Covenant of Mayors , after the strong global signing momentum, to support local authorities in designing concrete masterplans and investments roadmaps. In 2050, cities intend to become climate neutral, or 100%-powered by renewable energy . By 2030, they should have reached at least -40% GHG in order to be on track for this long term goal. This means that 2020 is the absolute deadline to sketch the future look of their city and set clear milestones to reach in the decade ahead.. As we will discuss at our annual conference in Stuttgart, many local authorities have already made this switch and moved from scattered initiatives to a more systemic approach to their urban re-development.
Beyond cities climate action, it is the entire EU in need to develop its strategic vision.
This 25th of March will mark the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaty, establishing the European Economic Community as the next major milestone after the Coal and Steel Community was created in 1951. You might wonder what is in the pipeline to commemorate this big anniversary ? From what we know, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Junker, asked his colleagues identify the 3 major achievements of the European Union, as well as 3 of its biggest challenges. I can think of a few answers, but I will stick to highlighting one major challenge : we cannot forge a European future, if we are merely “upgrading” the existing model of the European Union. As the famous Pakistani writer Mohsin Hamid explains in this article, we cannot offer a brighter future if it is built on nostalgia. Unfortunately, this is precisely what seems to be in store, with the soon-to-be-released papers for discussions focussing on sectoral policies and pillars (Defence, Economic and Monetary Union, Social Rights, …) instead of seeking to rally European around common vision.
The transition towards a fossil and fissile-free economy offers a great vision for the next decades.
Hopefully, even if not triggered by the EU leaders, these debates will happen, cities will take over in designing the EU future, encouraging their citizens to take part. The transition towards a fossil and fissile-free economy offers a great vision for the next decades. A real uniting vision, which will increase cohesion by mobilising all players to transform the local eco-systems. Our 36 proposals for the local energy transition – which still remain very much valid today - explain well the potential and can be adapted to all different local contexts to design a transition masterplan. The energy transition is the EU’s unique chance for a real new beginning, and a new mission to ensure that all territories hop on this train while preserving the European values of solidarity and cohesion.