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

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Climate and energy transition

Energy Union - 14.06.2016

​4 pillars to ensure a strong local governance of the Energy Union
« The energy system is evolving, therefore the decision-making process should follow » stated CEMR President and mayor of Santander (Spain), Iñigo de la Serna, at the launch of the Covenant of Mayors Ambassadors on 14 June, at the European Committee of the Regions (CoR).

Given that the EU Commission is currently preparing the review of several directives in the Energy Union package  (like the energy performance of buildings directive), this event served as a platform for local politicians and the EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy – Miguel Arias Cañete – to discuss towns and regions’ concerns about the scope of the expected legislation. 

On this occasion, CEMR President Iñigo de la Serna put forward four key messages to ensure a good implementation of the Energy Union package:  
  • To involve and empower towns and regions in all phases, including the national plans on energy and climate: involving towns and regions in all phases of the process is crucial, as they will play a vital role in the implementation of the reviewed directives.
  • To integrate the energy dimension in all relevant policy areas: energy is not an isolated policy. For instance, when implementing better urban planning initiatives, towns and cities have to make sure that there is a good coordination between transport and urban development as important leverage for energy efficiency. 
  • To facilitate access to funding: Member states and EU institutions should further collaborate with towns and regions in finding innovative ways of financing the production and use of renewable energies. 
  • To encourage the exploitation of different renewable energy sources, as well as more decentralised energy systems: Many towns and regions have vast experience in working in decentralised networks of energy, which means in practice a quicker action and decision-making process, as well as a more horizontal way of evaluating progress. CEMR supports this approach in the distribution of energy, instead of imposing centralised systems, which either do not exist or local governments do not have the necessary resources to invest in them.


Marlon Hilden
Climate, Sustainable Finance Officer

Email :
Tel : +32 221 38 699
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Background info: 

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) launched the group of climate Ambassadors during the European sustainable energy week (EUSEW).

The network is composed of local and regional politicians whose towns and regions are already signatories of the Covenant of Mayors. As ambassadors, they will become climate emissaries, speaking at international events and encouraging other towns, cities and regions to join the Covenant of Mayors.
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