The inaugural Franco-German Energy Transition Week (January 17th to 27th) was a rousing success combining action at the highest levels of government with a huge array of activities at the local level.
More than 70 cities in France and Germany celebrated the robust cooperation between the two countries withstudy trips, round tables, lectures, guided tours, film screenings, games and more. The events were organised by municipalities, associations, energy agencies and schools to increase awareness about the energy transition and climate protection.
At the national level Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel signed the Treaty of Aachen on January 22nd, which defined, for the first time, work on the energy transition as a priority area of cooperation.
The Franco-German Energy Transition Week was coordinated by Climate Alliance and Energy Cities and financed by the EUKI Programme of the German Ministry of the Environment.
An overview of some actions that have already taken place…
Frank Leroy, mayor of Epernay and Reinhard Schrieber, deputy major of Ettlingen, cut the symbolic ribbon and inaugurated an educational energy bus. This bus will now commute in and around both cities and advise citizens on energy retrofitting of their houses and flats.
Château-Thierry : an evening for screening and debating on the film « Grande-Synthe » with director, Béatrice Camurat Jaud, as well as a bilingual German/French bike tour on local sustainable initiatives.
13 sessions of « The Last Chance » escape game were organised in Metz and Worms. The story premise is set in 2050 research results from Professor Green must be found within the hour to save the planet ; Franco-German cooperation is crucial for the success of this mission.
The border cities Strasburg and Kehl hosted the « Eco 2 Rives – Grün und grenzenlos » festival organised by the Zero Waste Strasburg association and the City of Kehl. This « cross-border festival for climate » proposed lectures and screenings for the public at large to raise awareness about climate issues, as well as do-it-yourself workshops to adopt simple green tips.
In Nancy participants discovered the « Ecological transition alphabet » produced by students from Nancy and its twin city, Karlsruhe. By evoking daily life topics related to the energy transition, the aim was to motivate young people to get to know the partner country and raise awareness, in a playful manner, about current ecological issues and challenges.
These events show that the energy transition and Franco-German cooperation are already underway at the territorial level, but require the political and financial support of national level.