Regions and cities co-creating national energy and climate action plans

During the 17th European Week of Regions and Cities, the Covenant of Mayors Office organized the event entitled “Regions and cities co-creating national energy and climate action plans”. Find out the inputs!

During the 17th European Week of Regions and Cities, the Covenant of Mayors Office organized the event entitled “Regions and cities co-creating national energy and climate action plans” (Brussels, 9th October 2019).

Claire Roumet (Energy Cities) moderated a panel discussion on the role of regions and cities for the co-creation of National Energy and Climate Action Plans (NECPs), the main national implementation tools to tackle climate and energy-related challenges, through the inclusion of shared tasks and responsibilities between levels of government.

The implementation of energy and climate adaptation policies requires knowledge and expertise available at local and subnational levels, hence the need to involve cities and regions in their design (Cor Lamers, Mayor of Schiedam). On one hand, local authorities have a key role in monitoring activities, maintenance of buildings stock, awareness-raising, alleviation of energy poverty. On the other, NECPs should reflect local priorities while sustaining the local economy and providing a robust financial support (József Ribányi, County Council of Tolna Megye).

Regions’ contributions to NECPs is still limited to inputs provided during the consultation in the later stages of design and development of the action plans (Maria Luz Macho, Regional Government of Galicia). Regions contribute to energy transition through the development of Regional Energy Strategies which are instrumental to adapt national strategies at a regional level (Association of Netherlands Municipalities, Netherlands). The notions of communication and information should be central in the creation and implementation of action plan, while coercive approaches will only add a supplementary burden on regions and states that are already striving (József Ribányi, County Council of Tolna Megye).

Cities and regions have shown a major role in energy transition and adaptation to climate change thanks to the Covenant of Mayors initiative, however, more participatory processes should be established to design NECPs according to the Aarhus Convention (Paula Pinho, Head of Unit at the Directorate-General Energy, European Commission).