Time to redefine multilevel governance!

Join the Mayors Session at ICCA!



David Donnerer

Publication date

May 13, 2019

We know the energy transition is underway but it is not rapid enough. Academics, civil society actors and policymakers all agree that the transition needs to further accelerate to meet the Paris Agreement. Society and governments need to act now and this involves an active citizenship.

All actors – from corporate energy suppliers to private citizens – and all levels of governance – from local and regional to national and supranational – will have to undergo fundamental changes concerning not only their role and functioning but also their routine practices within a SHARED transition. We therefore decided it is time for a real debate amongst Mayors to set an example of how a multilevel governance dialogue, with the local level at its centre, can succeed.

Mayors engaged to fight climate change often meet at different summits, but they rarely have the opportunity to speak to each other beyond their networks. At ICCA, our President, Prof. Dr. Eckart Würzner, will host a Mayors Session and invites members of all city- networks to join this Session to draw on a roadmap of actions for the next years.

Breakfast and Mayors Session – Thursday, May 23, 7.30-10.30Heidelberg (Germany)
Breakfast: 7.30 – 8.45 (Prinz Carl, Spiegelsaal EG, Konrmakt 1)
Mayors Session: 9.00 – 10.30 (Solar Boat, in front of the conference centre, river Neckar, Position 7)


Most energy is consumed in cities, which therefore play a pivotal role in low carbon transitions. Cities are the sphere of government closest to the communities they serve and as such hold enormous power to transform the energy and carbon emission profile of countries. Over the past few years, local governments have increasingly used their legislative and purchasing powers to implement changes in their own operations and in the wider community. Many cities both large and small have been innovative in the implementation of projects. While champions and city officials have demonstrated an ability to think outside of the box, much still needs to be achieved. It is hence time to draw attention to Mayors´ requests.

The Boards of ICLEI global, but also ICLEI regions, Eurocities, CEMR, UCLG, C40, Climate Alliance and Energy cities, all members of the Founders council of the Global Covenant, are reflecting on how to mobilise further, beyond the happy few. This is not the time to discuss and exchange good practices (time for inspiration will be given during the workshop sessions) but to draw a political agenda for the future.


In order to trigger the required changes to scale up sustainable transformations in and of cities, a real debate amongst mayors providing the rights and opportunities mayors have in terms of climate resilience and adaptation, including remunicipalisation and community energy, is crucial. Bringing in integrated approaches for both climate resilience and decarbonisation for the development of long-term strategies, this Mayors Session will reply to the question “What do Mayors need to make their cities carbon neutral and to improve quality of life?”

Participants: Local elected representatives participating at ICCA. 
Set up: Room for 100 participants, round tables for 8 mayors each.
Provisional programme of the Mayors Session

Should you have any queries or logistical questions, please do not hesitate to contact: tatjana.veith@energy-cities.eu