Publication date

May 19, 2022

I recently discovered the manfraRadiant“. It offers a description of a world… so similar to ours! To fight “the bad guys” (called “the inquisition”), you must go to the forest (called “fantasia”). The power of imagination and of nature is what allows us to counter the “excavating” forces which have already transformed the planet into a block of swiss cheese, leaving only small islands of the earth’s crust…  

We are living in a rich period. Very intense, not always positive, but rich. We are faced with the urgency of war, climate change, poverty. But we also stand on fertile ground full of solutions just waiting to be implemented and expanded.

The issues are becoming clearer, the strategies are detailed, the steps are defined. But we are missing governance, institutional mechanisms, training in behavioural changes, new methods, and new technical solutions. We are missing the precise dates for each step, as well as the overall coherence of our legal, fiscal, and budgetary systems, and of our employment and health policies. We are missing the time to reflect on how to implement all of these changes. 

The European Commission announced this month the 100 cities that are part of the Climate Neutral 2030 mission. These cities have the mission of proving that climate neutrality is possible – by learning from one another, from their trajectories and their difficulties, and by forming a community in order to move forward together. 

Exchanging, inspiring and learning is also at the heart of the Europe Energy Transition Conference to be held in Geneva, or of the “New European Bauhaus” festival taking place in Brussels in June. Or the URBACT City Festival. We must seize these opportunities and draw on these living sources of inspiration; they give us the energy to move forward! They are to me an inexhaustible fuel and necessary vital energy! 

This is also our mission!  And it is why, to better support and boost this new phase of climate and energy action in cities, we are launching our Hubs. These are real spaces for discussion, inspiration, learning, and debate regarding the transformation of territories, to capitalise on exchanges and create community. To fill up on fuel! 

I have always been impressed by the vitality of the members of our network. And I notice a change in tone. Today, what I see is the determination of our elected officials, of the municipal teams. Determination and action, these are the words that come to mind after the intense exchanges of my last trips to Brussels, Valencia, Vienna, Metz… 

And it is exciting!