Could the Franco-German couple push the Juncker Plan to support investment in energy efficiency and renewables? This is what the French and German Ministers for Economic Affairs asked in a joint declaration on economic integration on 31 March.
German Minister Sigmar Gabriel and French Minister Emmanuel Macron indeed call for the creation of a new “Common EU Fund aiming to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency”. The declaration also writes that the “Juncker Plan could support energy efficiency works in public buildings […] as well as in private homes”. The investment to support climate action is high in the agenda of both ministers, which suggests that the energy transition is a real opportunity for economic activity in the EU!
The European Commission seems to be convinced by the potential of the energy transition too, especially at local level, with its Energy Union project and the willingness to extend the Covenant of Mayors to 2030. The Commission also offers to strengthen its link with cities by setting up a “one-stop shop” that woudl gather all programmes aimed for local authorities. However, the States are the ones making European policy, so they will be the ones to decide if the Juncker Plan can support investment in favour of the energy transition or not. If the Ministers’ declaration does not mention the importance of local level, it certainly goes in the right direction, while the European Council revealed reluctant to promote amnbitious climate and energy policies.
Energy Cities welcomes this initiative from the French and German Ministers for Economic Affairs and calls for taking into account the potential of the energy transition at local level in terms of economic development and creation of sustainable and ’non-relocatable’ jobs in Europe. We hope that Germany and France will also support (or strengthen their support to) the local energy transition through national measures, and that the other Member States will join this call for energy efficiency and local renewable energy.
To go further
French-German cooperation for the local energy transition TANDEM project.
Study“Economic impact of the energy transition at the local level : Methodologies and case studies”, by Energy Cities.
April 8, 2015