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Declining energy supply and the role of municipalities

Declining energy supply and the role of municipalities

A Cities Energy Saving Sprint to brace for winter

Skyrocketing energy prices are squeezing business and household budgets while funding Putin’s atrocities in Ukraine. In response, mayors and cities across Europe are embarking on a bottom-up campaign to harness the most immediate and inexpensive solution possible – energy saving.

We can’t finance Putin’s tanks and guns with our energy needs. Furthermore, reducing our energy consumption has been necessary for a long time due to climate change and to keep the planet liveable. Saving energy is key” - Marieke van Doorninck, Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam.

Saving energy is the only option that can save implemented today and by everyone – especially at the local level. It is an important show of solidarity with suffering Ukrainians and a social imperative to alleviate households’, businesses’ and municipals’ budgets.

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.” – Benoit Hellings, Deputy mayor of Brussels

The Covenant of Mayors, in cooperation with the European Committee of the Regions and the European Commission, has launched a campaign to raise awareness across local governments called “Cities Energy Saving Sprint”, encouraging municipalities throughout Europe to avoid energy consumption and reduce demand. The advocacy project is backed by a letter to cities from the European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson and the support from several European cities who have already been taking actions, including the mayor of Warsaw Rafał Trzaskowski, who made a video (see above) to kickstart the campaign. As part of the project, a Toolkit provides suggestions on energy saving measures and examples from cities’ testimonies, to inspire local authorities in taking the matters in their own hands.

Every kw/h saved today is going to be used later in autumn, authorities and citizens need to be aware of it” – Julije Domac, Special Advisor on Energy and Climate of the Croatian President of Republic and Member of the Covenant of Mayors Political Board.

In autumn and winter, European governments will be forced to balance energy needs with available carriers, likely without consulting their respective regional and local authorities. It is now that cities need to show their teeth. Being the closest political figures to citizen’s day-to-day lives, municipalities are best placed to take energy saving measures and provide effective communication to justify them.

Rising bills and a raging war on our continent have shone a light on our energy needs and especially where it comes from. A year ago, energy supply was a concern of the few, but we are on the cusp of unmissable impacts on every part of society – including cities. Local budgets are already straining because of rising utilities. Municipalities are taking action now but this is a war effort that requires every level of government.

Learn more about the campaign and how your city can join it on this link.

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