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What's EUp in fall 2018?

By David Donnerer on 28 September 2018

When the wind of change blows…

“…some people build walls, others build windmills”, says an ancient Chinese proverb. It indicates how change can frighten some people and lead them to staying within what they know, even when it is becoming obsolete, while others are not afraid to seize the opportunities provided by the change. Since the adoption of the landmark Paris climate agreement nearly three years ago, the wind of climate change action has been blowing stronger in Europe, but it is not yet strong enough to catalyse the continent’s Paris-proof energy transformation. Despite the efforts made by the windmill builders – cities, local energy communities and others – the wall builders are still standing their ground, holding on to their obsolete fossil fuel ways and impeding the wind of transformational change. With the European elections happening in spring next year, can a new EU Parliament and Commission become the forces to finally pave the way for the windmill builders?...

What about the 3Ds?

Democratisation

After a hectic month of June, the negotiations on the EU Clean Energy Package have almost been completed. The only file left is the electricity market design, which EU institutions hope to reach an agreement on by the end of the year. The electricity market design, is a key puzzle piece in formalizing the role of local energy stakeholders in Europe’s energy transformation, as it can provide an enabling framework for energy cities and citizens to participate as strong players in the energy market.

Under the umbrella of the Community Power Coalition and the cross-sectorial ‘Small is beautiful’ campaign – which will hold its official launch event on the 16th of October in Brussels - we recently published with RESCoop.eu (European federation of renewable energy cooperatives) and Friends of the Earth Europe our 5 key demands on the electricity market design to EU policymakers. While large parts of the EU Commission and the European Parliament are recognising the importance of supporting small-scale, renewable and locally-owned energy, many EU Member States are still largely ignoring this issue in the negotiations. In order to turn the tide and bring a much needed wind of change to the European energy market, Energy Cities needs your help to convince national governments about the necessity to preserve a space for local energy in the electricity market design!

To influence the process: Ask our help to write a draft letter to your national representatives on the electricity market design, or for a media action in your country!

Divestment

There will definitely be a funding space for local energy in the next EU budget for the period 2021-2027, as our analysis has shown. But how big the share of the cake will be, and how it will be able to trigger a fundamental change in the pace of Europe’s energy transformation at local level, still remains unclear. While good progress has been made on the budget file in both the Parliament and the Council, the EU institutions are still far from completing the negotiation process. EU budget commissioner Günter Oettinger wants a deal before the 2019 EU elections, in order to send an “important signal to EU citizens”. The Commission and Parliament have proposed a higher EU budget– despite Brexit - while in the Council, many wealthy net payer Member States such as Austria, Netherlands, or Sweden are opposed to increasing their contributions and want a smaller budget instead.

In other news, Ireland recently committed to divest from fossil fuel companies, while the mayors of London and New York called on cities worldwide to divest. But many EU countries and companies are still building walls to these winds of change by funding fossil fuels: across the EU, a recent Greenpeace study found that national governments are spending EUR 58 billion to support back-up fossil fuel and nuclear power plants. 3 years after the Dieselgate scandal, the European car industry can still sell millions of grossly-polluting diesel cars, thereby choking Europe’s cities. In desperate attempts to improve air quality, a number of German cities have already banned older diesel cars, and the mayors of Paris and Brussels have issued an urgent call for an annual EU-wide car-free day.

To influence the process: Tell us what worked for you in the previous European budget, and what could be improved!

Devolution

Ahead of the COP24 in Katowice in December, the EU Commission is set to present on 28 November its new 2050 strategy for reducing GHG emissions. The EU executive is still seeking inputs from stakeholders for its strategy through a public consultation, but some details on the scope of the new 2050 EU roadmap are already emerging: the strategy should aim for a net-zero EU by 2050 – meaning compatible with the Paris Agreement -, while being not too precise and prescriptive about how this should be done, in order to appeal to a broad audience. How can net-zero emissions be translated into concrete measures by 2050? In our upcoming publication, we will highlight European cities that are showing how this can be done through their 2050 roadmaps, while at the same time bringing a wind of change on their territories, so stay tuned!

To influence the process: How should the new 2050 EU decarbonisation strategy be designed? Share your thoughts in the EU Commission’s public consultation by 9 October!

Locally yours,
David
david.donnerer@energy-cities.eu

with the support of ADEME

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Events to come
Efficient Buildings & Renewable Energy - MED Community Conference
From 18 to 19 October

PUBLENEF webinar: Public-private partnerships for energy efficiency policy
Thursday 18 October 10:00-11:30

Covenant of Mayors workshop - Control, cap, cut: How to handle emission reduction in cities
Thursday 18 October 13:30-18:00

Vitality of Smaller Cities in Europe
Thursday 25 October

Workshop on Heat Planning & Mapping in Europe
Monday 12 November 13:00-16:00

Renewable Networking Platform workshop
Thursday 15 November 12:30-17:00

All coming events >>
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