“There is a double urgency to transform Europe's energy system: ending the EU's dependence on Russian fossil fuels, which are used as an economic and political weapon and cost European taxpayers nearly €100 billion per year, and tackling the climate crisis.” This is with those words that the European Commission introduced the REPowerEU plan on 18th May.
Right afterwards, European Commission’s Vice President Frans Timmermans was meeting city leaders from the EU Covenant of Mayors Board to discuss emergency energy saving measures. Both VP Timmermans and EU Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, who also met Covenant of Mayors representatives the day after, insisted on the key role of cities in the REPowerEU challenge.
Covenant Board members reaffirmed their full support to make the EU Green Deal local in order to support Europe’s transition to climate-neutrality and energy independency, as well as to make Europe closer to citizens.
Fruitful discussions that led to immediate action, as on 19th May, the European Commission, the Covenant of Mayors – Europe and the Committee of the Regions launched “The Cities Energy Saving Sprint”. This joint initiative encourages cities to take measures that will immediately reduce their energy consumption and provides them with practical examples through a dedicated toolkit.
“Today, it is clearer than ever that the greenest energy is the energy we don’t consume, and in this period of war in Ukraine it is also the most ethical energy”, says Deputy Mayor of Brussels Benoit Helling, a signatory to the Covenant of Mayors.
Lots of cities are already taking action to save energy, as shown in the “city reports” of the Cities Energy Saving Sprint’s toolkit. We encourage all cities across the EU and beyond to act now to secure sustainable, affordable energy supply to all. Every gram of GHG avoided in the coming months will be an important step, not only for the climate, but also as an act of solidarity with Ukraine. We have a crucial role to play, municipalities have a crucial role to play. Join the Sprint!
Floriane Cappelletti, Heads of Communications, Covenant of Mayors