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.[1] 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.

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.

European Cities in the Energy Transition: A Preliminary Analysis of 27 Cities

It is estimated that cities are responsible for 70% of global CO2 emissions. Thus, they have a large responsibility to react to the climate crisis by adapting their energy systems. Where do European municipalities stand with regards to the energy transition? What are the difficulties they face? This study sets out to answer these questions by surveying 27 diverse cities―from Mizil, Romania to Barcelona, Spain―that participated in the mPower Exchange project. This study them draws conclusions, assessing what has to be done in order to enable a democratic energy transition.

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.