Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Renewable energy - 31.03.2010

CEMR calls for greater recognition of the role of local and regional authorities
The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) reiterated that local and regional authorities have a crucial role to play in the preparation and implementation of national renewable energy action plans,. during its Network on Energy Issues held on 24 March.
In light of this, CEMR calls on national governments to actively work with local and regional governments when defining and implementing their energy strategies.
The EU directive on renewable energy, adopted in December 2008, sets mandatory targets for the overall share of energy in gross final consumption coming from renewable sources (20%) and for the share of energy coming from renewable sources in transport (10%). In order to comply with these requirements, member states have been asked to submit their national renewable energy strategy to the Commission by 30 June 2010.
Details regarding the involvement and role of local and regional authorities in achieving national targets have to be included in the action plans, an aspect that was added to the directive, notably thanks to continuous efforts led by CEMR and its members during the legislative process.
From October 2009 to January 2010, CEMR contacted 26 of its member associations from local and regional authorities in 24 countries so as to assess whether they were actually involved in the preparation of the action plans.
Results indicate that cooperation between national authorities and local and regional powers is so far underway in nine member states, while another nine reported that they had not yet been involved but were confident that they would be consulted at a later stage.
CEMR believes that while these numbers are encouraging, they remain insufficient.
Indeed, certain CEMR members indicated during the network meeting that some local and regional authorities had not been consulted during the decision-making process to install wind turbines, which undermines their planning autonomy.
In view of these observations, CEMR would like to encourage countries having not involved their local and regional authorities in the preparation process to do so as early as possible, so as to guarantee an efficient and adapted implementation of the action plans at the local and regional level.
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