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Just transition

Municipal actions for building energy democracy and energy sovereignty

Municipalist Manifesto from 2020 onwards

This blog introduces the 16 proposals put forward in the Municipalist Manifesto for building energy democracy and energy sovereignty locally, presented by the Catalan Network for Energy Sovereignty (Xse) and the Transnational Institute. The Municipalist Manifesto aims to be a tool that can be used as a guide by (municipalist) citizens platform, municipal councils and opposition parties, organisations and collectives, and any person who wishes to take action.

Frankfurt’s energy transition: Passive houses, a CO2 budget, and an app to collect residents’ ideas

Frankfurt am Main is one of the more densely built-up cities in Germany, known for its banking sector and home to one of Europe’s largest airports. The city is also the centre of Germany’s digital logistics: 80% of the country’s Internet traffic runs via servers in Frankfurt. With this multi-faceted economy, the city has more than 750,000 inhabitants and is growing rapidly.

It is vital for both citizens and the environment that Frankfurt becomes more climate friendly. The municipality’s goal is a 95% carbon emissions reduction by 2050 compared to 2010 and a halving of energy use in the same time frame. The administration has put multiple plans and processes in place to put the city on the right pathway, including a ‘Masterplan 100% climate protection’. There is a special emphasis on involving residents in the city’s transformation, for example through an app with which they can share their ideas and complaints directly with the municipality.

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.

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.