To demonstrate the feasibility of rapidly progressing towards our energy and climate objectives at a local level while proving to citizens that their quality of life and local economies can be improved through investments in energy efficiency and reduction of carbon emissions. This Initiative will foster the dissemination throughout Europe of the most efficient models and strategies to progress towards a low carbon future.
This Initiative will support cities and regions in taking ambitious and pioneering measures to progress by 2020 towards a 40% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through sustainable use and production of energy. This will require systemic approaches and organisational innovation, encompassing energy efficiency, low carbon technologies and the smart management of supply and demand. In particular, measures on buildings, local energy networks and transport would be the main components of the Initiative.
The Initiative builds on existing EU and national policies and programmes, such as CIVITAS, CONCERTO and Intelligent Energy Europe. It will draw upon the other SET-Plan Industrial Initiatives, in particular the Solar and Electricity Grid, as well as on the EU public-private partnership for Buildings and Green Cars established under the European Economic Plan for Recovery. The local authorities involved in the Covenant of Mayors (more than 500 cities) will be mobilised around this initiative to multiply its Impact.
- To trigger a sufficient take-up (reaching 5% of the EU population) of energy efficient and low carbon technologies to unlock the market.
- To reduce by 40% the greenhouse gas (reference year 1990) emissions by 2020, that will demonstrate not only environmental and energy security benefits but also to provide socio-economic advantages in terms of quality of life, local employment and businesses, and citizen empowerment.
- To effectively spread across Europe best practices of sustainable energy concepts at local level, for instance through the Covenant of Majors.
- In moving towards these objectives, local authorities will propose and implement holistic problem-solving approaches, integrating the most appropriate technologies and policy measures. This would involve ambitious and pioneer measures in buildings, energy networks and transport.