With EU Member States set to submit their final national energy and climate plans (NECPs) by the end of the year to the EU Commission, they need to tap into the potential of their cities and citizens to design and deliver robust, ambitious and mutually beneficial plans. A new report from the LIFE PlanUp project provides national policymakers with a blueprint on how to involve cities, civil society and the public in their NECPs through multilevel climate and energy dialogues.
The LIFE PlanUp report presents good practice examples in the form of case studies from seven EU Member States – the France, Netherlands, Sweden, Luxembourg, Ireland, Germany and Estonia – as well as from outside Europe, by focusing on Canada and the US State of California. In these examples, a multilevel climate and energy dialogue compliant with the EU regulation governing the NECPs (i.e. Article 11 of the Energy Union and Climate Action Governance Regulation) has been successfully developed and implemented in various ways. Furthermore, these examples met the LIFE PlanUp criteria for an energy and climate governance framework to be a good practice.
The nine good practices featured in the report are listed below:
The good practices in energy and climate governance highlight a wealth of options for national policymakers to involve local actors in the form of a multilevel climate and energy dialogue in their NECPs. Stakeholder/citizen commissions, regional gatherings, climate councils, sectoral working groups or dialogue fora are just some of the proven and replicable formats that have been already successfully used at national level.
The report further shows that the inclusion of local actors in a multilevel climate and energy dialogue brings multiple benefits for both the local and national level in the NECPs. By tapping into the experience, know-how and engagement of cities, civil society and the public, national policymakers can leverage key contributions to the planning process, trigger further investments, share responsibilities more equitably, raise the plan’s overall ambition and ensure its more adequate and swift implementation. Moreover, such an approach also increases public support and ownership, mobilizes all actors, strengthens coordination and cooperation between local and national policymakers and thereby bridges the gap between the local and national level in the NECP process. In Luxembourg for example, especially the views from municipalities were taken up in the development and implementation of the country’s Climate Pact. As a result, the Climate Pact succeeded in mobilizing all 105 Luxembourgish municipalities for effective climate action.
Drawing from the good practices in energy and climate governance analyzed, the LIFE PlanUp report lays out 10 recommendations for national policymakers in EU countries on how to develop and implement a multilevel climate and energy dialogue in their NECPs, providing in particular guidance on involving cities, civil society and the public:
October 3, 2019