Cities are taking action on climate change and boosting the local energy transition, but for good climate and energy policy to take effect, all stakeholders must be on board. In the Finnish Covenant city Vaasa, the local government has a stake in the local alliance ‘Energy Vaasa’ (made up of 140 companies), and is cooperating with private enterprises to make its ambitious climate and energy targets – becoming carbon neutral by 2035 – become a reality. Likewise, Leeds’ (UK) Climate Commission brings different stakeholders together from different parts of the city council, as well as local business interests, civil society organisations and the local university.
Under the auspice of the European Covenant of Mayors, the two Covenant cities have been able to share those good practices with fellow cities. The Covenant twinning programme allowed representatives from the Belgian Covenant signatory Ghent, Belgium to visit Vaasa during two days on 19-20 April, and representatives from the Dutch Covenant city Breda to visit Leeds during the same dates. The cities shared their insights in an open expression of the cross-border urban solidarity that is an essential factor in taking climate and energy action at local level.
The European Covenant of Mayors Office will launch its next call for participation to twinning exchanges at the end of June 2018 on our website, so stay tuned!