Local and regional authorities have the potential of becoming a real driving force of the energy transition, helping Europe achieve its goals of climate neutrality and energy independence. What’s more, the EU has clearly designated cities and regions as leaders of Europe’s energy transition, through EU urban initiatives such as the Covenant of Mayors and the Mission 100 climate-neutral and smart cities, amongst others.
However, this is not so clearly reflected on the national level. Not only do national climate and energy policies rarely tap into this potential, but they also offer little support to these transition efforts at the local level.
These shortcomings have shown through in the first versions of EU Member States’ National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs), submitted in 2020 as part of the Energy Union governance process. The European Commission pointed out this discrepancy in the first assessment of the plans. They signalled that the NECPs had not involved local and regional authorities and stakeholders as they should have.
Article 11 of the Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action mandates Member States to set up a proper multilevel climate and energy dialogues. For the next version of the NECPs, which are due to be updated, the EU insists that Member States properly implement Article 11.
The updated NECPs are currently being developed: the first draft is due no later than June 2023 and the final one year later, in June 2024. Over this period, the NECPlatform project will contribute to making sure that EU Member States bridge the gap that has been highlighted by the EU Commission’s first assessment of the Plans.
The NECPlatform project will support six EU Member States (Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Italy, Portugal, and Romania) in setting up and managing permanent multi-level Climate and Energy Dialogue (CED) Platforms, as mandated by Article 11. These dialogues will help foster vertical and horizontal integration of energy and climate policies.
Such platforms will have the form of a roundtable and will meet 6 times each during the implementation of the project. Each platform will bring together representatives from national, sub-national authorities and other relevant stakeholders, such as representatives from civil society, academia, industry, financial sector, NGOs, etc. Their purpose is to manage, in a collaborative process, the design, implementation and monitoring of climate and energy policies to be make them coherent across levels of governance (e.g. European, national and local) and areas of competence. These platforms are also meant to ensure national policies are consistent with participants’ capacities and needs to engage in an ambitious and fair ecological transition with common objectives.
The outmost objective is for these platforms to become a privileged fora to discuss and deliver draft (2023) and final updated NECPs (2024).
The project, funded by the LIFE Programme of the European Union, is led by Energy Cities and IEECP. National organisations in the 6 Member States will set up and carry out the dialogue platforms in each country:
France: Energy Cities
Italy: Coordinamento Agenda 21
Romania: OER – Asociația Orașe Energie în România
Contact our Project Coordinator: Thibaut Maraquin
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