On 15-17 March, 145 participants from 57 cities attended the EUROCITIES Environment Forum in Antwerp, which focused on energy transition in cities.
On the first day, three working group meetings were held: on air quality, climate change and energy efficiency; waste; and water. On 16 March, the first panel focused on the recently launched Clean Energy Package and energy trends, with presentations delivered by representatives of the European Commission and the International Energy Agency. During the energy governance panel debate, Copenhagen, Warsaw, and Frankfurt, along with representatives of the private sector, discussed long-term energy planning, and cited examples of collaboration. At the ensuing seven roundtables, speakers presented innovative energy efficiency projects implemented in different cities.
A session on city labs, animated by Stéphane Vincent , CEO of La 27e region (a city lab organisation), provided an overview of the usefulness and potential impact of urban labs for local administrations and governments. At the end of the day, several site visits allowed participants to discover Antwerp’s achievements in the fields of water, waste, and energy management, biodiversity, and sustainable living. On the last day, Berend de Vries, deputy mayor of Tilburg, signed the Green Digital Charter, making the Dutch city the 52nd signatory of the document. The event concluded with a political debate on the challenges posed by the energy transition, moderated by Manon Dufour head of E3G’s Brussels office. Eight deputy mayors, a deputy head of unit of DG ENER, as well as MEP Anneleen Van Bossuyt (ECR, Belgium) were in attendance.
The next EUROCITIES Environment Forum meeting will take place in Essen, European Green Capital 2017, on 18-20 October.