EU Policy Brief by Claire Roumet

By Claire Roumet on 29 October 2015

This month, we are particularly proud of one thing: the launch of the New Covenant of Mayors. In its new version, the initiative makes it possible for cities to make commitments within an extended time horizon and to continue down the road to a low carbon future even more ambitiously (more information in Energy Cities’ blog).

Mayors endorsing the New Covenant of Mayors objectives at the 2015 Ceremony on 15 October in Brussels - © photo : Nathalie Nizette

In addition to this major step, we’ve been busy pushing political topics further:
In mid-October, our Board of Directors met with the Urban Envoy of the Dutch government Mr. Nicolaas Beets (Director at the Ministry of the Interior, former ambassador), to discuss the agenda of the Dutch EU presidency during the first half of 2016. Cities in the Netherlands have wide powers, including energy policy. One of their priorities will be to reinforce multi-level governance to foster the energy transition in particular, by designing and implementing effective EU policies. On May 30, 2016, the Dutch EU Presidency will propose the Pact of Amsterdam to Member States which is designed to launch a broad partnership between the EU, States and cities. This idea was also discussed by our Board members with MEP Mercedes Bresso, former President of the Committee of the Regions. Mrs. Bresso recalled the need for the European Parliament to involve the Covenant of Mayors, one of its potential key partners in designing policy.

The most prestigious meeting of our network in the past month was a discussion between our President Mr. Eckart Würzner and the new IPCC Chair, Hoesung Lee. Doctor Lee will be the new person leading the work on climate change of hundreds of scientists from all over the world. According to Mr. Lee, the time has come for academics to deliver research and to design tools related to "what is actually happening at the local level". He is convinced that research willl empower local actors to do more and better in imagining their post carbon future. The IPCC Chair also insisted on the fact that the social dimension of the energy transition has been overlooked until now. It should be explored more deeply to better understand the prerequisites for behavioural change and the social acceptance of change in general. Mr. Lee hopes that, once climate change is understood, research will focus on figuring out solutions.

In the meantime...
Only a few days ago, the UK’s struggle to secure a deal for a nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point ended. This policy move by the new majority Conservative government contrasts with research findings on the benefits of and access to energy alternatives, their feasibility and costs (read this article by Stephen Devlin from New Economics) and promising 100% renewable electricity scenarii for 2050 such as the one published by the French National Energy Agency ADEME for France (read here in French).

Map of members
Union of Communities of Armenia (AM) Armenia | Agencia de Energia & Ambiente da Arrabida - Energy agency Portugal | Mariupol Ukraine | Cities Northern Netherlands (NL) Belgium | Lisboa E-Nova - Lisbon Energy and Environment Agency Portugal
Events to come
Webinar - Consultancy activities for private housing retrofit ...
Tuesday 10 April 11:00-12:30

Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue
From 17 to 18 April

Energy Cities Annual Conference
From 18 to 20 April

Webinar - Urban living labs
Wednesday 18 April 11:00-12:30

5th European Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs)
From 14 to 15 May

Decarb Cities Forum 2018
From 16 to 17 May

All coming events >>
Find Energy Cities on
You are here: Energy Cities, Local authorities in energy transition. > Newsletters > Newsletter - Energy Cities - en > 235 - October 2015

About us
In a nutshell
EU Policy
How to join
Why we joined
Initiatives & Campaigns
Annual Conferences
Study Tours
Energy transition: our proposals
Best practices from members
EC INFO Magazine
Press releases
Communication tools

Addresses Energy Cities - Besançon Energy Cities - Bruxelles