Why new forms of local governance for energy and climate action?


Publication date

July 5, 2022

To succeed in climate neutrality, we need to accelerate the pace of implementation. The required technologies are mostly there. We see that the bottleneck lies in the way stakeholders work together, starting with local governments and their administrations. What is required is a different approach that will allow us to develop multi-disciplinary, multi-level, multi-media governance of local innovation ecosystems, for which most cities are not yet equipped.

In short: we need a change in governance.  

Energy Cities is strongly focusing on multi-level governance, a paramount angle of governance which entails lobbying both at the EU and national levels to make sure that national and European legislations respond to the local needs for change. 

The Spanish City of Valencia – one of the 112 cities selected by the EU Mission for Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities committed to become neutral by 2030 – has designed a plan that is bridging political consensus, citizens engagement, while breaking silos in the municipality. Alejandro, an energy expert at Valencia municipality, told us everything in a webinar we organised on 20 June. Listen to Valencia’s story here!

How does Energy Cities support local governments in their efforts? 

To support cities in this transition, Energy Cities created a Hub dedicated to the topic, called “Future-proof local governance”, which brings together a community of city leaders and experts interested in getting inspiration and implement systemic changes in governance. 

In practice, we offer two main streams of services to the members of this hub: 

  • Policy and advocacy
    • We summarise relevant EU legislation pieces. Local governments need to understand how the national framework – and consequently, funding – is evolving. We call this support action “WHAT’S EU UP?”.
    • We advocate for a better consideration of cities’ needs towards the EU institutions. We notably organise meetings between mayors / local elected representatives, and EU leaders. We call this action “MAYOR’S VOICE”.
  • Boosting local action
    • We offer our members useful tools to boost their local transitions. We provide learning opportunities such as training, study visits, capacity-building events. We share relevant toolboxes, roadmaps and guidelines… We call this action the “TRANSITION LEADERS PROGRAMME”. 
    • We scout and filter relevant funding opportunities connected to governance issues and we facilitate networking and matchmaking among our members – We call this action “MARKETPLACE”.

Join cities from all across Europe in our “Future-proof local governance” hub

The hubs are open to all members of Energy Cities, that can register here.

If you’re interested in the hubs topics but are not part of the Energy Cities network yet, you can subscribe to the Hubs newsletters, and of course, check how to become a member!