Summer homework : What do cities need ?

by Claire Roumet, Executive director of Energy Cities

Tradition dictates that we take Summer workbooks with us to the beach. This year however, it’s just as school is starting up again that we need you to hand in your homework!

In the dog days of Summer, we received a panicked request from the European Commission, which has realized that the EU’s energy consumption was continually, inexorably increasing. “We are not on track”, they said (see graph below). It is no longer enough to point the cameras at greenhouse gas emissions, or at forest fires or maxed-out thermometers. Not enough, at any rate, to come up with a plan of action, or several, or to turn policy into concrete projects. By concentrating on the legal framework – and particularly on obligations – without giving ourselves the means to act, we come up short.

As a result, the Commission is now looking to accelerate renovations and oversight of the implementation of the energy performance directive, and is therefore asking an open question: “What do cities need to renovate buildings? What do they need to lower their energy demand?”. 
So then – if the Summer break has helped you come up with new ideas, or “root” yourself in reality; if your sunglasses have enabled you to see new solutions: now’s the time to send them in. If not? Consider taking another holiday.

Send any ideas to

© European Commission



Claire Roumet

Publication date

September 10, 2018