Mayors from the C40 Cities network, union leaders and the International Energy Agency want to protect vulnerable residents by scaling investment in relief, retrofits and renewables in cities.
Mayors from the C40 Cities network, international and European trade union leaders and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have committed to work together to tackle the energy poverty crisis.
The emergency plan for European cities was put forward by mayors to protect vulnerable residents by scaling investment in relief, retrofits and renewables in cities, with national support needed.
Energy poverty crisis
Mayors warn that poor historic decision-making has contributed to the energy poverty crisis and proposed the plan for Europe to cut household energy bills and accelerate a just energy transition.
C40 analysis shows that 55 per cent of gas consumption in C40 member cities is used for heating and cooling in residential buildings, tying residents to volatile fossil fuels, and there are three times more jobs in European energy efficiency and retrofit markets than would be created by investment in fossil gas.
Mayors of Barcelona, Glasgow, Heidelberg, London, Milan, Oslo and Warsaw have vowed to work together with unions, governments and the IEA to double down on delivering their science-based climate action plans.
Paying heed to what the IEA deems necessary to solve the crisis, mayors have advanced a comprehensive emergency plan that aims to accelerate the delivery of actions and policies to help residents and workers living in cities. They have also called on national governments to step up their ambition and support cities with the funding and powers they need.
“We must all play our part in helping cities around the world become greener, fairer and more prosperous for all. The time to act is now”
Mayors called on national governments to scale up their emergency response to the crisis, including prioritising recovery funds and “windfall taxes” on energy companies, to deliver emergency measures and devolving the powers cities need to deliver and accelerate action.
In addition, the IEA has endorsed emergency interventions from city and union leaders, noting that city-led action is a vital component of its own recent 10-Point Plan to reduce the European Union’s reliance on Russian natural gas. This includes faster deployment of residential solar to reduce consumer bills and accelerating the shift to heat pumps in homes.
“Moving to clean energy will not only help save our planet, but create many highly skilled, well paid green jobs. We must all play our part in helping cities around the world become greener, fairer and more prosperous for all. The time to act is now.”
“Countries, cities, households and businesses must prioritise energy conservation, energy efficiency and low carbon technologies now”
C40 notes the emergency plan embraces the IEA challenge and aims to accelerate relief, retrofits and renewables in cities.
“We are witnessing the first truly global energy crisis – broader and more complex than the oil shocks of the 1970s, which the IEA was established to address,” said Dr Fatih Birol, executive director, International Energy Agency.
“Pump prices and energy bills have shot up as a result of Russia’s aggression, but we can reduce both the harm being faced by vulnerable consumers and Russia’s fossil fuel revenues if we take action to cut demand for oil and gas imports today.”
He continued: “Countries, cities, households and businesses must prioritise energy conservation, energy efficiency and low carbon technologies now. Mayors and national governments must support them by unlocking clean energy policies and investment on an unprecedented scale.”