The new board of Energy Cities has been elected at an online general assembly after an unprecedented number of applications from progressive cities across Europe to help shape the energy transition. Five of the 11 board members are new to the role: Aradippou, Cyprus; Nantes, France; Leuven, Belgium; Valencia, Spain; Križevci, Croatia.
The Lord Mayor of Heidelberg, Germany, Prof. Dr. Eckart Würzner, was re-elected as President of Energy Cities:
“It is an honour to be once again elected as the President of Energy Cities and I am grateful for the vote of confidence from my fellow mayors across Europe. As mayors we have been driving the transition in Europe to a large extent and it feels as though the EU’s Green Deal and its welcome ambitions are a validation of our approach. Cities will be the key partner in implementing the goals of the Green Deal and the COVID-19 recovery. It is more important than ever that we take our place at the table to help design the implementation of the plans and receive the structural support necessary to fully and efficiently decarbonise our cities.”
The other cities returning to the board of Energy Cities are: Paris, France; Växjö, Sweden; Liege, Belgium, Modena, Italy and Delft, the Netherlands. The new board of Energy Cities brings two considerable strengths. It is geographically diverse spreading from Croatia to Sweden and Spain. This will allow Energy Cities to develop best practices and provide advice based on the very different realities faced in different EU countries. The board also reflects the challenges faced by cities of varying sizes. By combining the expertise of a city like Paris and the proven efforts of a city like Križevci, Croatia (pop. 20,000) Energy Cities can drive the energy transition wherever Europeans live.
“The number of applicant cities to join the board was very impressive. We can see the growing importance of the energy transition to cities and the realisation that we can move fastest, as cities, when we learn from each other what works best,” said Claire Roumet, responsible for Strategic Partnerships & Overall Coordination at Energy Cities. “I am only sorry we didn’t have more positions on the board available. We will ensure that we find a role for those cities as we need their experience and insight in meeting the incredible challenges and opportunities of managing the energy transition.”
The new board of Energy Cities finds itself in a rapidly changing landscape with worsening impacts from climate change but also a massive opportunity in the form of the EU’s Green Deal, the EU’s recovery package and national recovery and resilience plans.
That is why the General Assembly adopted a strong declaration spelling out what cities require from the EU in order to quickly and efficiently deliver on the promises of the various recovery packages.
EU Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira addressed the general assembly and clearly recognised the need to provide structural support to cities: “we want cities to be co-authors of the recovery, because of their leading role in the transition.”
“The Commission will argue for you to have a seat at the table when it comes to the creation and implementation of the recovery plans,” she concluded.
About Energy Cities:
Energy Cities wants a radical transformation of the energy systems and policies, giving our citizens the power to shape a decentralised and renewable energy future. We believe that the energy transition is not just about clean energy or great technologies: It is about a wise use of resources while strengthening local participation and well-being in a democratic Europe. Energy Cities is a community of 1,000 local pioneers located in 30 countries. We trigger a trustful dialogue between city leaders and EU & national institutions to accelerate the energy transition in Europe.
September 18, 2020