City leaders are forward thinking. Decisions that we are making now will lock our cities and regions into technology pathways and societal choices that will influence our lives in 2050 society and far beyond. Many cities and regions in Europe have prepared and are already delivering their 2050 climate and energy strategies
According to the latest scientific thinking, and specifically the IPCC 1.5 Degree report, we need rapid change and widespread societal transformation. That is what Europe’s long-term strategy should aim at. Our hopes for 2050 get translated into different targets. Some municipalities will opt for a 100% renewables target, some want to go fossil-fuel free, others will aim for net-zero GHG emissions. The diversity of these locally-determined targets tells a particular story and provides a picture of the needed transformation. More importantly, each city is translating their long-term targets into action and changing governance structures to reflect these outcomes. All have very high ambition, taking stock of the challenges at stake.
In March 2018, EU leaders asked the European Commission to present, within 12 months, “a proposal for a Strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions reduction in accordance with the Paris Agreement”. Contributing to this strategy, the European Covenant of Mayors Board met with Vice-President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič and European Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, and had a chance to formulate 5 demands based on cities’ experience in designing local long-term strategies.
1.Embed climate and energy long-term strategies into all EU policies
2.Use the energy and climate governance regulation as a linchpin for mobilisation
3.Invest in local climate and energy alliances
4.Make territorial cooperation on resource management the backbone of long-term strategies
5.Adopt an integrated approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation in line with the Sustainable Development Goals