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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.

Tri-State: Moving a cooperative power provider from coal to clean energy

A growing number of electric cooperatives are caught between their members’ demands for more renewable energy and restrictive, long-term contracts with power providers that rely mostly on coal. Over the past few years, co-op directors, staff, and members in rural Colorado and New Mexico have pressed one major power provider, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, to replace its coal plants with clean energy, and allow co-ops to build more local renewable energy projects.

Barcelona Energía: public power to tackle energy poverty and achieve energy sovereignty

The Barcelona Energy Agency (AEB) is a public consortium that consists of a number of authorities that are directly involved in managing energy and the environment: Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Metropolitan Area, the Catalan Energy Institute, the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. AEB aims to boost the city’s reputation as a benchmark city in terms of promoting energy saving and energy efficiency, and enhancing knowledge about and the use of renewable energy.[1]