Publication date


Related legislative initiative

With the #LocalStaff4Climate campaign, we aimed at raising awareness of the need for human resources and skills in municipalities to drive the energy and ecological transition. Did we make it?

“There is a lack of staff in my local administration/ energy agency! It makes it hard to plan and implement the ecological and energy transitions, and to leverage the necessary funding and financing.” This is the almost unanimous feedback we have been receiving for years from our city members, describing a too often averted reality.

However, these needs are only rarely quantified (here for the Netherlands, and here for France) and, until recently, barely debated at European or national levels.

With this in mind, we have conducted our own study, focusing on the staffing needs of administrations to decarbonise the built environment, and provided key figures: local administrations would need 214 000 new positions between 2022 and 2030, at the EU level, for this sole sector. This represents around 2.5 additional full-time positions in each European municipality per year!

We also led a campaign to raise awareness of this bottleneck. We alerted the media, and discussed with policymakers at the European Commission, national energy agencies, and many different stakeholders at European and national levels.

7 months and 65 signatories later, our President, Eckart Würzner, Mayor of Heidelberg, handed our manifesto to the European Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit.

Our Board members handing over the manifesto to Commissioner Schmit on the 9th of December 2022 @EnergyCities.

We asked the Commissioner to specifically consider local governments’ human resources needs in the programme for the European Year of Skills 2023, as there is currently no mention of it.

Read our answer to the consultation on the proposition for the European Year of Skills 2023 here.

The topic of employment will therefore be on the front scene in 2023, and it is good news! We, at Energy Cities, will continue to call for a better consideration of these issues at the European and national levels and in particular:

  • Real budgetary solutions for municipalities
  • A replication of our study in each Member State, extended to all sectors of climate mitigation and adaptation.
  • A strategy to boost the attractiveness of employment in local governments, through reform tools such as the European Technical Support Instrument (TSI) for instance.
  • Aligning climate objectives and means, particularly human resources. The National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs), for example, must be based on local needs to operate properly. All Member States will need to submit their first draft in June 2023.

Stay informed about the campaign and other Energy Cities news by joining our Hubs!