With a view to promoting a dynamic energy transition momentum, the department of Essonne in France has decided to use its unifying and facilitating role to encourage and motivate local stakeholders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Essonne Climate Network (Réseau Climat Essonnien) was therefore launched with funding from the LIFE+ programme. It provides a platform for discussing climate-related issues with elected representatives, technical experts, community organisations and economic players. The experiment has shown the importance of political leadership. Training the departmental council staff to use interaction, participation and concertation methods has also been a success factor.