COP21 – Takeaways from week 1: Cities, power and Hollywood stars!

As the second week kicks in, we thought the time was ripe to share some first impressions!

Energy Cities’ Board members have filled their COP21 agenda with quite a number of eventsLe Bourget is an immense village where you can meet delegates from the whole planet, many of them running from one conference to the other. A huge crowd of NGOs, international institutions, city networks and companies that all share the same conclusion: fighting climate change is possible.

As the Mayor of Vancouver rightly pointed out during the cities and renewable debate organized by the EU Commission last Friday, “Agreement or not, change will happen, because the market can deliver, the technology is there and the willingness and leadership at local level is strong”. This workshop took place just a few meters from the main negotiation room, and even if the walls are thin, we can only hope his voice was loud enough!

The same commitment was visible from the different mayors who positively replied to Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo’s invitation to attend the “Climate Summit of Local Leaders”, an impressive show with Hollywood stars adding their voices to those of local leaders addressing the French President and the “Parties” of the Conference. No doubt here: the means that have been mobilized by the French government and the City of Paris to collect multi-stakeholders commitments are unprecedented.

After successive gatherings of mayors, year after year, at each COP, their local contribution to delivering the energy transition no longer goes unnoticed. Bringing together mayors from all over the world is definitely a good opportunity to mobilize more of them and to empower them all.

One of the key messages I take home was delivered during Energy Cities’ debate on COPowering change, featuring our members Célia Blauel – Deputy Mayor of Paris, Bo Frank – Mayor of Växjö (Sweden), Gil Nadais – Mayor of Agueda (Portugal) and Eckart Würzner – Mayor of Heidelberg (Germany) and President of Energy Cities, as well as partner cities from other continents: 
#ReclaimPower !
With or without their national governments, local leaders are ready to take ownership of the energy transition !

Definitely a POWERful week!



Claire Roumet

Publication date

December 8, 2015