Ahead of this week’s European Council, set to assess the state of energy markets and address the latest developments in Russia’s war on Ukraine, mayors from the Eurocities network have signed an open letter calling on European leaders for “a bold and unified European response to the energy crisis exacerbated by the Russian aggression towards Ukraine.”
Noting that, as representatives of the level of government closest to people, “we have been at the forefront of the health and energy crises, taking bold steps to reorganise services, reallocate budgets, and shield the most vulnerable groups of people through targeted social measures,” the mayors claim that the skyrocketing energy prices, and inflationary pressure is now putting the provision of public services at risk.
With this in mind, the mayors call on European leaders to:
- Swiftly implement the emergency measures already agreed by EU energy ministers, and involve cities and regions in their implementation to bring down prices, helping citizens and companies
- Direct windfall taxes on energy companies towards poverty mitigation and acceleration of the energy transition in cities
- Ensure direct and speedy access for city authorities to EU emergency funding, and introduce a golden rule to the EU fiscal framework that does not consider long-term investments into green, digital, and social infrastructure to be debt
- Implement targeted measures to address energy poverty and protect the most vulnerable groups from adverse impacts related to the cost of living, such as one-stop shops operated in cities, which provide a crucial lever to fight energy poverty and get people on board in the energy transition
- Prioritise actions that drive demand reductions, thus saving energy, such as speed limits, decreased minimum temperatures and awareness-raising campaigns
“As cities, we are taking the lead in encouraging behavioural changes across different sectors such as transport, public lighting, heating and cooling, to reduce energy consumption and coordinate demand reduction efforts,” write the mayors of Florence, Ghent, Leipzig and Warsaw, who represent the Eurocities network of more than 200 larger European cities.
However, in line with the points set out above, the mayors suggest the need for greater coordination between the different levels of government to work together to respond to the current crisis. In addition, they signal that the upcoming agreements on the Fit for 55 package and RePowerEU are key opportunities to go a step further to protect citizens, ensure the EU’s strategic autonomy and accelerate a sustainable and inclusive transition to a climate-neutral EU.
The full letter can be accessed here: Open letter from Eurocities on tackling the energy crisis and implementing RePowerEU
Notes for Editors:
- The full letter can be accessed here: https://eurocities.eu/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Open-letter-from-Eurocities-on-tackling-the-energy-crisis-and-implementing-RePowerEU.pdf
- The letter is signed by Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence and President of Eurocities; Burkhard Jung, Mayor of Leipzig and Vice-President of Eurocities; Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw and Treasurer of Eurocities; Mathias De Clercq, Mayor of Ghent and Secretary of Eurocities. Together these mayors form the Eurocities Presidium, which represents the network.
- Eurocities wants to make cities places where everyone can enjoy a good quality of life, is able to move around safely, access quality and inclusive public services and benefit from a healthy environment. We do this by networking more than 200 larger European cities, which together represent some 130 million people across 38 countries, and by gathering evidence of how policy-making impacts people to inspire other cities and EU decision-makers.
Connect with us at https://eurocities.eu/ or by following our Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
Alex Godson: +32 495 298 594 // email@example.com