Brussels, 24 June 2014
Joint Press Release
« Local actions are key to European energy security”. This is the title of a joint declaration co-signed by the 6 major EU networks of local and regional authorities, which have pledged to undertake five strategic sets of actions to support their member cities and regions in contributing to energy security in the EU.
According to one of the declaration’s opening observations, « Energy security is of increasing relevance and a responsibility shared by everyone”, whatever the level of governance or sector, including citizens. With this in mind, the declaration goes on to welcome the European Commission’s recent recognition of the Covenant of Mayors as a “key action” of its Energy Security Strategy, as the Covenant now brings together close to 6,000 local authorities, working hand in hand with the private sectors, NGOs, regions, national bodies and citizens to meet and even exceed EU climate and energy objectives.
With the winter season looming, there is increasing concern about potential energy supply disruptions, which will be felt most acutely by citizens, with local authorities “in the front line to meet their needs and demands”. By taking immediate short term actions to moderate energy demand (raising citizens’ awareness and improving the energy efficiency of public services) and accelerating the implementation of Sustainable Energy Action Plans (sustainable buildings and transport; decentralised energy production), local authorities can make a crucial contribution to Europe’s energy security. In light of this, Climate Alliance, CEMR, Energy Cities, EUROCITIES, FEDARENE and ICLEI have jointly pledged to:
- Launch a campaign of information towards cities, towns and regions to take immediate action on energy savings;
- Empower local communities through examples and solutions for sustainable energy actions;
- Disseminate the results of short, medium and long-term actions implemented in the framework of the Covenant of Mayors in order to boost their replication;
- Reinforce relationships with the European institutions and national governments in order to accelerate the implementation of the action plans, particularly of short-term actions;
- Support initiatives and policies that further enhance local and regional capacities for action, including the EU 2030 framework for climate and energy policies or the international negotiations on climate change.