An Energy Union to unlock city potential

  • environment

The Energy Union Package should enable cities to contribute to its goal of creating a resilient energy system and an ambitious climate policy for 'secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy'.

The Energy Union Package, presented by the European Commission on 25 February, is likely to be the main framework for EU energy policies over the coming years. We have responded to the package with a statement that calls for cities to be able to contribute fully to the Energy Union goals.

In our statement, available at the link below, we point out that the Energy Union is an opportunity to better integrate EU and member state policies on energy and climate, such as:

  • coordinating climate and enegy policies with policies on air quality, waste, water or noise, and avoiding conflicting results such as pollution from promoting diesel vehicles for the energy efficiency
  • adopting a more coordinated approach on related issues, such as (e-)mobility and (smart) electricity grids, alternative fuels, modal shift and multi-modal approaches

We also ask that the Energy Union address heating and cooling as well as electricity, and that it has a clear focus on energy efficiency and low carbon and renewable energy generation. 

When it comes to EU city initiatives on energy, the Covenant of Mayors should be renewed with a local commitment of at least 40% CO2 reduction by 2030, to align it with the EU's 2030 climate and energy targets. We also propose merging the Covenant with Mayors Adapt

The Smart Cities and Communities European Innovation Partnership (EIP) should look beyond ICT, energy and mobility to address urban sustainability issues such as air quality, noise, resource efficiency and the circular economy, water management, fuel poverty, local green jobs and health issues. 

Photo © European Commission Audiovisual Service