Spring is on the way: the Energy Union starts blooming in Brussels
By on 31 March 2015
Claire Roumet reviews the latest political developments as regards the EU’s energy transition.
Beginning of March, the Vice President of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic attended Energy Cities’ Board meeting. He discussed his vision of an Energy Union which would support a resilient economy with 11 European local decision-makers.
The Energy Union Strategy sets a clear direction for the energy transition. However, the policies and governance mechanisms to deliver this transition still have to be designed accordingly. This is why it is so important to make cities’ voices heard.
A few days atfer this meeting, Inete Ielite from Riga represented Energy Cities at the Brussels high-level renewable energy conference. Speaking for the cities of our network, she called for further decentralising the energy system.
What better means to show cities’ contribution to fighting climate change than having 30 large cities and capitals from Europe joining forces in green public procurement? Convened by our member city and COP21 host Paris on 26 March, the European mayors (most of them signatories to the Covenant of Mayors and active members of our network) made the pledge in the presence of EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete.
The day before, the Swedish city of Växjö urged its national government to make Sweden the world’s first fossil-fuel free country. It also encouraged European cities to follow in its footsteps by setting ambitious energy and climate targets..
All these events show how important the Covenant of Mayors is as a unique way to set a collective objective for territories: the Covenant was referred to many times, speakers explained how this initiative structures local actions, and called for extending the Covenant of Mayors beyond 2020. This is what we have to work on together in the next months: Commissioner Cañete proposed to have a Covenant 2030 whereby cities would commit to reducing GHG emissions by 40%. There are even talks of extending the Covenant at global level to ensure that other continents are part and can benefit of this unique movement.
Join us in Aberdeen for our International Conference on 22-24 April to further discuss these topics!