2020 will forever be remembered as the year of the pandemic – there is no escaping that. But while the pandemic forced changes on Energy Cities, just as it did for our member cities, we continued to deliver on our promise to democratise, decarbonise and decentralise the energy transition.
The pandemic also reminded us that the energy and value of cities resides in its people. Whether it is sharing ideas, trading goods or building solidarity – cities are for people. From Vienna to Barcelona, from Helsinki to Dunkirk, there is no shortage of examples of cities that are improving themselves for people with climate neutrality strategies, sometimes targeting energy independence and sometimes a broader transition. Whether this should be done is no longer question: energy neutrality must be achieved in the big cities. And the mayors of metropolitan cities and medium- sized towns are well aware of this new responsibility.
For evidence of this, look no further than the new mission letters of the deputy mayors and their portfolios: from the first deputy of the City of Brussels, who is responsible for “climate” in all these dimensions and who ensures its integration into all municipal delegations, or of the deputy Mayor to the City of Nantes, in charge of resilience and foresight while also taking on the role of Vice-President of the metropolis in charge of the climate, energy and food transition, agriculture, economic changes … Gone are the days when the Vice-Presidents for Energy were only in charge of renovating public buildings!
Energy Cities remains steadfast in its objective of accelerating the energy transition with people at the centre. This Impact Report highlights just a few of the many projects that are building the tools and knowledge our network is creating with the purpose of helping each city find the right path of itself and its citizens. It also highlights how the experiences of our member cities are being fed directly into the EU decision-making process to create the right conditions for cities to thrive.
May 3, 2021