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Political editorial - "A blooming spring for the energy transition"

By Claire Roumet on 30 June 2015

Energy Cities’ Director Claire Roumet takes us behind the scenes in Brussels and shares her opinion on the latest EU policy developments.

What is astonishing to notice this month is the convergence of conclusions of very different institutions. The International Energy Agency, the European Environmental Agency, the Catholic Church, a French think tank… all saying the same: the energy transition is possible, has started and can only be local.

That is why local authorities need to be empowered, to be granted the competences corresponding to what they can deliver so that we drastically reduce our carbon footprint. In its yearly outlook to the global energy challenges, the IEA is very clear: the current centralised and fossil-centred energy system has to be transformed. The agency is proposing, beside a long-term goal, to revise the sector’s target every five years to make sure it is on track.

The European Environmental Agency published an interesting "map book" on cities’ vulnerability to climate change, showing that the impacts will be so different from an area to another that adaptation will have to be very local. The World Health Organisation aknowledged striking figures on air pollution while the "Players of the new world" (Acteurs du nouveau monde in French) are recommending detailed new roles for local authorities to make the transition happen.

"In some places, cooperatives are being developed to exploit renewable sources of energy which ensure local self-sufficiency and even the sale of surplus energy. This simple example shows that, while the existing world order proves powerless to assume its responsibilities, local individuals and groups can make a real difference."

- Pope Francis

© photo shutterstock.com

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