EWRC 2019 session: Implementing the Paris Agreement. EU cities and regions in energy transition
Following the Paris Agreement, the EU has committed to reducing annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% and 80% compared to 1990 levels by the years 2030 and 2050 respectively. However, limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels requires higher ambitions and a rapid transition across sectors to a sustainable, low-emission energy system based on shared, integrated solutions. Close cooperation across all levels of government and civil society is essential to meet these objectives. Therefore, the success of the energy transition depends on the ability to involve sub-national authorities to manage this change, starting with best practices, but also understanding local limitations and obstacles.
The Committee of the Region’s (CoR) opinion on the EU energy transition strategy (ENVE-VI/040) reiterates these points and underlines that the transition needs to be innovation-driven, relying on resilient local infrastructures and security of supply. Investments and financial expertise need to be fostered at local level, increasing the resilience of the energy system through moderating demand, diversifying sources, and promoting cohesion.
The event focused on these topics by featuring CoR rapporteurs and MEP Buzek who delivered key messages, followed by a global perspective from ICLEI, the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Focal Point, spotlights from DG ENER and CoR, as well as good examples of local 2050 strategies from cities and regions. The plenary session followed an interactive World Café, engaging participants in informal and in-depth discussions on key topics of strategic importance to both transitions, e.g. smart cities and communities, islands, coal regions, energy poverty and CoM.
This session was conceptualised and organised with the support of the H2020 project C-Track 50 (No 784974).