Give cities the staffing means for their climate ambitions

A study, a manifesto, and a campaign for more local staff to achieve the climate transition

Local governments are at the forefront of managing crises. It has been true with the COVID crisis, it is still valid with the war in Ukraine and the massive immigration which has resulted. The climate emergency is a crisis and should be treated as such. To be able to do so, local governments rely on their staff, which implies having a large enough local workforce to carry out the necessary tasks. However, municipalities are having trouble recruiting the staff they need because of several hurdles: limited operating budgets, strict rules on local government debts, a need to increase the attractiveness of employment, etc.

Energy Cities assessed in its publication “Human capacity in local Governments: the bottleneck of the building stock transition” the gap between the necessary and the existing staff focusing on the European building stock transition. The positions to be filled are diverse: energy analysts, project managers, urban developers, engineers, experts in citizen and stakeholder engagement, energy advisers, communication officers, public building experts, social housing experts. The results are the following:

  • Around 2.5 additional full-time positions per municipality per year over the next 9 years (including 2022), or 214,000 new local employment positions across the European Union (per year, in average).
  • In terms of costs for municipalities, this will be around €16 billion per year at the EU level, which, in 2019, represented only 3% of local governments’ public expenditures

Read the full publication with detailed figures, analysis and recommendations:

To achieve their climate neutrality goals, the EU and its Member States need strong local public services, especially in the energy field. To keep the planet “liveable”, the latest IPCC report states that the curve of greenhouse gas emissions must be reversed within 3 years. The conclusion is simple: we must act now and give regional and local governments the ability to think, learn, develop, and implement their energy transition plans. European and national governments operate through them when implementing climate transition plans. It is therefore urgent to give municipalities the means, especially human resources, to intensify the process of slashing their territories’ greenhouse gas emissions at the right scale.

We, signatories of the manifesto calling for more local staff for future-proof municipalities, urge to national governments of EU Member States and the European Commission to:

  1. Finance the recruitment of municipal and local public bodies staff
  2. Make jobs more appealing and support local pooling of expertise
  3. Provide training and reallocation programmes to upskill municipal and related local public bodies staff
  4. Provide a framework enabling local governments to develop their own green budget, investments, and workforce
  • Join our webinar the 4th July to discuss with us and our speakers how to give staffing means for cities and municipalities