Nottingham’s plan to win the race to carbon-neutrality
Nottingham is a historic English city in the East Midlands region with about 331,000 inhabitants and a wide range of sporting and cultural venues. The city and its Council have made headlines in recent years for leadership and innovation around the low-carbon and energy agendas. Building on recent successes, the City Council declared a climate and ecological emergency, and set a nationally leading target to reach sustainable carbon neutrality by 2028, 22 years before the nation-wide goal. To reach this ambitious target, the Council has been taking bold steps: it introduced a levy on workplace parking spaces to help fund the expansion of a low-carbon tram network, continues to engage citizens in a year of carbon neutral thinking and the ongoing development of their 2028 Carbon Neutral Action Plan, and is committed to planting 50,000 new trees.
Rijeka: The energy transition of Croatia’s seaport
Rijeka is Croatia’s most important seaport, and, with a population of 128,000 people, the country’s third-largest city. The city’s economy is largely dependent on shipbuilding and logistics. Selected as the European capital of culture in 2020, Rijeka is working hard on an energy transition.
Public-public partnerships and deep energy retrofits: The case of Porto Region
The metropolitan area of Porto consists of 17 municipalities in northern Portugal which are home to 1.7 million people. Its Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) from 2012, drawn up as part of its membership of the Covenant of Mayors initiative, defines its goals as follows: compared to the 2005 baseline, CO2 emissions will be reduced by 25% in 2020, while energy efficiency is expected to increase by 20%. Additionally, renewable energy sources are anticipated to grow by 30%.[i] Like many other local SEAPs, these targets go way beyond the targets set by the European Commission. In order to reach them, the 17 municipalities work together with local agencies to initiate an energy transition steered by public institutions.
Komotini’s plans for a climate-friendly future
Komotini is a municipality in north-eastern Greece with just under 60,000 inhabitants. Still recovering from the effects of the financial crisis of 2008 and dealing with the resulting financial restrictions, the municipality is now planning to take its energy supply into its own hands. With an impressive track record of active citizenship and a fruitful cooperation between the administration and residents, there are high chances that these plans will soon be put into practice.
Litoměřice: Two decades of working towards a just transition in the Czech Republic
The city of Litoměřice has for a long time been a frontrunner in the Czech energy transition. A former port town not far from Prague, which has now become a commerce and service centre, the city of some 25,000 inhabitants began its energy transition in 2000 with a subsidy scheme for solar water heaters in private homes. 20 years later, Litoměřice is becoming a climate-friendly role model for the Czech Republic and the Central European region.
New ways for the energy transition – the Viennese approach
The city of Vienna and its wholly-owned energy provider are testing a range of participatory approaches to meet the city’s decarbonisation goals. From sustainable urban planning, through geothermal engineering to blockchain technology, Vienna is contributing new ideas and sustainable solutions for the city of tomorrow.
A democratic transition to renewable energy in Cádiz
As in many other Spanish cities, two new left parties (For Cádiz Yes We Can and Winning Cádiz) took over the local government of Cádiz in an unprecedented election in May 2015. They inherited many economic and social problems such as high levels of debt and unemployment.
Barcelona Energía: public power to tackle energy poverty and achieve energy sovereignty
The Barcelona Energy Agency (AEB) is a public consortium that consists of a number of authorities that are directly involved in managing energy and the environment: Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Metropolitan Area, the Catalan Energy Institute, the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. AEB aims to boost the city’s reputation as a benchmark city in terms of promoting energy saving and energy efficiency, and enhancing knowledge about and the use of renewable energy.
Financial innovation, ‘smart grids’ and one-stop shops: Aradippou’s ambitious journey towards net carbon-neutrality
Aradippou is driving an ambitious local energy transition by engaging local actors as well as national and European partners. The municipality aspires to establish one-stop shops that provide comprehensive solutions for homeowners, encouraging them to engage in upscaling renewable energy projects and increasing energy efficiency. The municipal projects also aim to unleash financial and technological capacity to establish a ‘smart grid’. Involvement in various European projects is allowing the city to access European funds and partnerships which will equip it to reach net carbon-neutrality by 2030.
“There were evenings when we almost gave up.”
How did the Mouscron energy cooperative come into being and what are its plans for the near future? In December, Energy Cities met with Emmanuel Fontaine who is both the City of Mouscron’s energy adviser and one of the cooperative’s trustees. He told us about the long, but enriching process that led to the creation of this unique energy cooperative. According to this cheerful Belgian, with a clear passion for his work, such a project requires perseverance, tenacity and strong motivation. Below is a shortened version of the interview. You can also download and listen to the unabridged conversation by clicking on the link on this page.