Fighting energy poverty: when climate action meets social needs

Speakers: Andreea Vornicu-Chira, City of Cluj-Napoca (Romania); Sam Nierop, EU Energy Poverty Observatory / Navigant.

Making the energy transition just, fair and equitable is becoming an increasingly important challenge as 50 million Europeans are “not able to adequately heat or provide other required energy services in their homes at affordable cost” (European Energy Network). How can municipalities tackle energy poverty? How can they support low-income households reduce energy bills and increase living comfort while contributing to climate change mitigation? In this session the Romanian city Cluj-Napoca will share its experience with identifying such pressing issues and setting the ground for action. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on how energy poverty plays out in their municipality, focusing on actions related to power, heating and cooling in private buildings and social housing.

Presentation: [.pdf]

Communicate climate change mitigation through climate impacts

Speakers: Inga Menke, Climate Analytics; Julia Legelli, adelphi.

How to raise awareness about climate change and the urgent need for mitigation actions at the local level? While it often seems easy to convince stakeholders of co-benefits – such as economic savings through energy efficiency – it can be more challenging to argue in favour of more large-scale mitigation measures. This session aims at linking climate science and municipal mitigation measures. It will overview the findings of the latest International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the impacts of 1.5°C global warming, identifying the types of climate impacts relevant for European municipalities. The session will then discuss how climate impacts can be used for communication purposes. Based on municipal climate targets and measures, participants will make a link between the causes and effects of climate change.

Presentation: [.pdf]

Financing local climate and energy actions

Speakers: Peter Schilken, Energy Cities; Moritz Schäfer, Navigant; Václav Šebek, SEVEn; Jarolav Klusák, City of Litoměřice (Czech Republic); Piotr Zając & Katarzyna Urbańczyk, City of Zamość (Poland).

Local authorities across Europe are facing the challenge of taking actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change while providing citizens with access to sustainable and affordable energy. How can European municipalities mobilise the necessary investments despite strained public budgets? In this session, experts will discuss possibilities of unlocking investment opportunities through EU funding and map out strategic pathways of how to use municipal funds for financing climate change measures. In interactive roundtable discussions, participants will have the chance to learn from and interact with local government representatives and experts who have engaged in successful financing practices.

Presentation: [.pdf]


Germany: Fridays for Futures: how can we engage youth for municipal climate action?

Speaker: Severine Wolff, City of Eberswalde.

In the school strike for climate movement "Fridays for Future" (FfF), students from around the world are deciding not to attend classes on Fridays and instead take part in demonstrations to demand political leaders take action on climate change. In the city of Eberswalde, FfF demonstrations started in January 2019 and continue until today. The municipality welcomes the student’s initiative, although the city is in a legal dilemma as going to school is compulsory. In this case clinic session, the city of Eberswalde will discuss how to engage the youth movement into the city’s climate actions and how to develop new projects together with school children and young people.

Presentation: [.pdf]


Poland: Local energy production & energy markets

Speakers: Leszek Tabor & Michał Mroczkowski, City of Sztum & Tomasz Bońdos, City of Bydgoszcz.

In Poland, a new framework supporting the production and consumption of energy on the local level has emerged: energy clusters. Clusters are agreements between municipalities, energy suppliers, R&D institutions, citizens, formal or informal groups of interests, and/or NGOs. Their goal – similarly to the “citizens energy communities” now part of the EU’s new electricity market design – is to create local green energy markets. In this case clinic session, the cities of Sztum and Bydgoszcz will present their current plans for developing energy clusters and making their cities energetically self-sufficient. The discussion will focus on how to manage the cooperation between citizens producing energy, local energy companies and government-owned grid operators. Further, the presenters want to explore how this local energy transition can be made profitable for all.

Presentation: [.pdf]

Czech Republic: Open environmental data management for local climate action

Speaker: Jiri Tencar, City of Písek.

The City of Písek is investing in its vision to become a sustainable smart city. One of the cornerstones of the city’s strategy is open environmental data management. In the case clinic session, the city will present its current efforts of creating an online energy data portal that publishes data on heat, electricity and water consumption of municipal buildings on an interactive map. The discussion will explore how to integrate and visualise various environmental data sources, including for example local vulnerability maps. Additional questions will focus on how open environmental data can be best communicated and used by citizens, private businesses and the municipality. What project ideas and experiences can other cities share? 

Presentation: [.pdf]


Sustainable mobility strategies for local development

Speaker: Jessica le Bris, Green City Experience.

What advantages can low-carbon transport projects have beyond emission reduction? This session will explore the socio-economic co-benefits of climate change mitigation, showcasing practical examples that help to create local jobs, enhance city attractiveness and support the local retail and tourism sector. Special attention is placed on working with local businesses and shops to foster engagement in sustainable mobility strategies and motivate citizens to change their commuting habits. Practices presented from Germany will serve as a basis for reflection on how such approaches may be replicated in participants’ municipalities.

Quiz: [.pdf] / Presentation: [.pdf]

Incentives for energy savings in schools

Speakers: Florian Kliche, Independent Institute for Environmental Issues (UfU); Milko Mladenov, Mayor of Lyulin District, Sofia (Bulgaria); Kamelia Georgieva, NTEF.

Energy costs can be reduced by up to 15% when introducing energy efficiency measures in educational buildings. How can municipalities create effective incentives? This session will highlight success factors and benefits of introducing and implementing energy saving projects in public buildings and schools. Case studies from Bulgarian and German municipalities will be presented and show how successful models can be adapted elsewhere.

Presentation: [.pdf]

Site Visit: Heidelberg´s passive house settlement “Bahnstadt”

Speaker: Stefan Rees, Department of Urban Planning, City of Heidelberg

The district “Bahnstadt” in Heidelberg is currently the world´s largest passive-house neighbourhood. On a former 116 hectare freight yard, a sustainable and attractive new neighbourhood has been constructed to house up to 6.000 residents. This new city district includes single-family houses and flats, kindergartens, schools, restaurants and cafés, a conference centre and sports facilities. The passive houses reduce energy use by about 50% and all houses are powered and heated with renewable energy. In a guided walking tour, the department of Urban Planning of the City of Heidelberg will share insights from the planning and construction phase. Get inspired!

Presentation: [.pdf]