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C-Track 50 project at European Week of Regions and Cities

The C-Track 50 project is co-organising a session on “Implementing the Paris Agreement: EU cities and regions in energy transition” during the European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC), on 9 October 2019 in Brussels. This year’s EWRC will take place on 7-10 October under the headline "Regions and Cities: Pillars of the EU's Future".

Following the Paris Agreement, the European Union (EU) has committed to reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by 40% and 80% compared to 1990 levels by the years 2030 and 2050 respectively. However, limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels requires higher ambitions and a rapid transition across sectors to a sustainable, low-emission energy system based on shared, integrated solutions. Close cooperation across all levels of government and civil society is essential to meet these objectives. Therefore, the success of the energy transition depends on the ability to involve sub-national authorities to manage this change, starting with best practices, but also understanding local limitations and obstacles.

The Committee of the Regions’ (CoR) opinion on the EU energy transition strategy reiterates these points and underlines that the transition needs to be innovation-driven, relying on resilient local infrastructures and security of supply. Investments and financial expertise need to be fostered at local level, increasing the resilience of the energy system through moderating demand, diversifying sources, and promoting cohesion.

The CoR’s opinion on the "A Clean Planet for All" communication confirms these notions and calls on the European Commission (EC) to propose a regulatory framework that includes health, environmental, economic and social aspects and for the establishment of a Climate Neutrality Observatory. It calls for stronger utilisation of local policy initiatives such as the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (CoM) to set up permanent consultation mechanisms towards 2050, based on the Talanoa Dialogue. Additionally, it calls on the EC to guarantee that National Energy and Climate Plans are aligned with the Paris Agreement and developed through multi-level dialogue, providing an institutional framework to connect Local Determined Contributions with National Determined Contributions within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) processes.

This session was conceptualised and organised with the support of the C-Track 50 project. It will focus on the above-mentioned topics by featuring CoR rapporteurs who will deliver key messages followed by a global perspective from C-Track 50 partner ICLEI Europe, which is also Local Governments and Municipal Authorities Focal Point, spotlights from the Commission’s Directorate General for Energy and the CoR, as well as good examples of local 2050 strategies from cities and regions. The plenary session will follow an interactive ‘World Café’, engaging participants in informal and in-depth discussions on key topics of strategic importance to both transitions, i.e. smart cities and communities, islands, coal regions, energy poverty and the CoM.

For more information and to register for the session, click here.