As all eyes look to Paris (France) in preparation for the 2015 Paris Climate conference, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), ICLEI Europe, the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council, and the Committee of the Regions (CoR) put their heads together to create an event, in collaboration with the Community Power project, to address the practical question of how local governments and their communities should proceed to help accelerate the transition to sustainable energy. What part do community-owned renewables play in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the expected Paris Agreement?
“Community energy: accelerating sustainable energy roll-out in Europe“ will be held in the context of the COP21 addressing these key challenges and starting a dialogue on the role of civil society and community engagement following the Paris Agreement. The roll-out of sustainable energy in Europe in the run-up to 2030 will be the central theme, with a specific focus on the potential of community-led and owned RES for local and regional development. Local governments and civil society-led initiatives will share best practices from their experience with community energy and will lead a conversation on how to plan ahead to 2030.
A diverse group of experts including European, national, regional and local policy makers will participate alongside local governments, networks and associations, community energy projects, cooperatives, rural communities, NGOs and RES developers. The conference will be held in the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council and registration is open to all. Registration is available online.
For more information, download the draft agenda.
As international climate change negotiations proceed at COP21, local and regional climate action will be in the spotlight at the Cities & Regions Pavilion – TAP2015. As the central point for the local level at COP21, the Cities & Regions Pavilion invites mayors, governors, municipal leaders, civil society leaders, businesses and financiers to engage in lively exchanges on accelerating local and regional climate action in advance of a binding agreement on a new international climate regime. European cities can avail of daily briefings on the progress of the negotiations within the pavilion, including analysis from ICLEI experts.
At the heart of the Pavilion are daily regional “TAP Time” sessions, where selected representatives of cities and regions will present their ambitious, inclusive and cross-cutting projects from the Transformative Actions Program (TAP). During the two weeks, projects from Europe, Latin America, North America, Africa, India, China, Southeast Asia and Oceania will be highlighted. Events will be held of particular interest to European cities, including two sessions focusing on the role of local and regional authorities in supporting community-led energy projects. The sessions will take place in the framework of the CO-POWER project and will focus on challenges and barriers, as well as success stories, in the ongoing transition to renewably sourced energy at the local level.
On UNFCCC Action Day on 5 December sustainable public procurement will be in focus at the Pavilion. ICLEI is organising the first Global Lead Cities Network Summit on sustainable public procurement, followed by a session led by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute (KEITI) on the 10-year Framework Program.
For more information, visit the TAP website.
The future of energy distribution is modern district energy. Integrated systems pipe water and steam around a city to heat and cool buildings, producing electricity along the way and increasingly integrating renewable energy. District energy systems (DES) are exceptionally energy-efficient, leveraging energy that is typically lost and using diverse energy sources for multiple buildings. DES could be the key to decarbonising the built environment, transitioning to renewable energy and limiting global temperature change to below two degrees.
To transition to modern district energy, we need to know where and how thermal resources are being used. The EU-funded STRATEGO project has published the Pan-European Thermal Atlas (PETA), an interactive map with data on regional and European thermal resources and demand. Governments can use this information to implement National Cooling and Heating Plans, which are a European Commission obligation. The CELSIUS project, meanwhile, has resources until March 2017 to support cities in implementing and further developing local DES. Interested cities can join CELSIUS here.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon launched the Global Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform to scale up energy efficiency policy, action and investment and to fast-track energy efficiency internationally. The platform provides technical assistance, support and public-private sector collaboration to bring policymakers and stakeholders together to effect real change. Partners in this process, ICLEI, UNEP and WRI invite local governments to become involved in the Buildings Energy Accelerator and the Global District Energy in Cities Initiative. Involved cities can showcase their city’s leadership at the COP21 Buildings Day on 3 December 2015, where the results of this call to action will be launched with further information on the support, training and financing the platform will offer.
For more information, download the Call to Action.