"There is a double urgency to transform Europe's energy system: ending the EU's dependence on Russian fossil fuels, which are used as an economic and political weapon and cost European taxpayers nearly €100 billion per year, and tackling the climate crisis.” It is with those words that the European Commission introduced the REPowerEU plan on 18 May.
Right afterwards, European Commission’s Vice President Frans Timmermans was meeting city leaders from the EU Covenant of Mayors Board to discuss emergency energy saving measures. Both Executive Vice-President Timmermans and European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, who also met Covenant of Mayors representatives the day after, insisted on the key role of cities in the REPowerEU challenge.
Covenant Board members reaffirmed their full support to make the EU Green Deal local in order to support Europe’s transition to climate-neutrality and energy independency, as well as to make Europe closer to citizens.
Fruitful discussions that led to immediate action, as on 19 May, the European Commission, the Covenant of Mayors – Europe and the Committee of the Regions launched “The Cities Energy Saving Sprint”. This joint initiative encourages cities to take measures that will immediately reduce their energy consumption and provides them with practical examples through a dedicated toolkit.
“Today, it is clearer than ever that the greenest energy is the energy we don’t consume, and in this period of war in Ukraine it is also the most ethical energy”, says Deputy Mayor of Brussels Benoit Helling, a signatory to the Covenant of Mayors.
Many cities are already taking action to save energy, as shown in the “city reports” of the Cities Energy Saving Sprint’s toolkit. We encourage all cities across the EU and beyond to act now to secure sustainable, affordable energy supply to all.
“In solidarity with Ukraine and to tackle energy poverty exacerbated by soaring prices, the City of Paris is currently working on an austerity plan and energy crisis response”, explains Deputy Mayor of Paris Dan Lert.
Every gram of greenhouse gas (GHG) avoided in the coming months will be an important step, not only for the climate, but also as an act of solidarity with Ukraine. We have a crucial role to play, municipalities have a crucial role to play. Join the Sprint!
- News: https://www.eumayors.eu/news-and-events/news/1958-the-cities-energy-saving-sprint-is-launched.html
- Energy Savings Sprint webpage: https://www.eumayors.eu/plans-and-actions/cities-energy-saving-sprint.html
About the author:
Floriane Cappelletti is in charge of communications for the Covenant of Mayors – Europe Office. The Covenant of Mayors is the world's largest movement for local climate and energy actions. In Europe, over 10,000 cities and towns are joining forces to secure a better future for their citizens.
Disclaimer: This article is a contribution from a partner. All rights reserved.
Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on behalf of the Commission is responsible for the use that might be made of the information in the article. The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and should not be considered as representative of the European Commission’s official position.
- Publication date
- 21 June 2022
- European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency