I have known and worked with Energy Cities for over a decade and I stand impressed by its approach to encouraging cities to be front runners in the needed energy transition in the EU.
The fact that it has over 1,000 member cities is testimony itself, but when you add to this the fact that it runs the Secretariat of the Covenant of Mayors with its more than 6,000 signatories too, it is easy to see why we were so pleased when Energy Cities became a European Supporting Partner of the Renovate Europe Campaign.
Our Campaign, which is a political communications campaign, calls on the EU to ramp up the rate and ambition of energy renovations of existing buildings so that the EU can achieve an 80% reduction in energy demand of its existing building stock by 2050 as compared to 2005. We have seen that with insufficient action at EU and National levels, cities are facing up to the challenge and taking the lead.
I attribute this to the way in which Energy Cities has federated front runner cities through its innovative style of creating and supporting the network. Its communications strategies, recently highlighted by the photo contest, are highly appealing and creative and generate the right balance between hard information and media exposure that Mayors and city administrations seek.
At the same time, Energy Cities can be provocative, even controversial as was seen in the preparation and running of the campaign to urge the European Commission to issue a Communication dedicated to the role of cities in the energy transition. The way it mimicked the Commission approach, including an open public consultation, was a masterstroke in raising the profile of cities as the right governance level for ambitious action on energy issues, including energy efficiency in buildings.
I look forward with much anticipation to maintaining and developing the good relationship that the Renovate Europe Campaign and Energy Cities has established in the years ahead.
June 8, 2015