During the two unconventional conference days, political leaders, local practitioners, company directors and NGO representatives will debate the actions foreseen and the means available to tackle climate change and invent a new energy paradigm.
A “Third Industrial Revolution”
On the first day (23 April) a global vision will be given by Jeremy Rifkin, the US American economist and President of the Foundation on Economic Trends. His inspirational keynote speech on the “Third Industrial Revolution” in energy use as well as a video speech by the environmentalist Sunita Narain from the Centre for Science and Environment in India will take participants beyond European borders. Evelyne Huytebroeck, Minister of Brussels-Capital Region, will provide the European political perspective. A large panel of European stakeholders is invited to share their visions. The afternoon is dedicated to “local trumps”, i.e. local energy and climate initiatives which have proven to be successful. Participants will have the opportunity to walk through a fair to meet and discuss approaches and achievements with local representatives.
The Covenant of Mayors: beyond the signature
The second day (24 April) will focus on the Covenant of Mayors initiative and its practical implementation in local authorities. A dozen European Mayors will “put their cards on the table” and present what they are already doing to shape the energy and climate future at city level. High level speakers from the Energy Commissioner’s Andris Piebalgs Cabinet and the Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation will indicate how they foresee to support committed local authorities in the coming months.
The conference, which follows up on the First Covenant of Mayors ceremony held in February, takes place half-way between the international climate negotiations in Poznan and Copenhagen. The post-Kyoto process is formally in the hands of the nations committed to the Kyoto protocol. However, in practical terms, it will be impossible to achieve an ambitious CO2 emission reduction target without the involvement of local authorities.
The organizing city networks Climate Alliance and Energie-Cités are well aware that what is true for climate change also applies to the energy crisis and economic crunch. Both associations, specialized in energy and climate issues for the last 20 years, are dedicated to promoting sustainable energy and climate policies at the local level. Together, they are representing more than 2000 local actors in their membership.
Journalists can attend the conference for free after accreditation. Meetings with panel participants can be arranged on request. Interview queries can be addressed to the press contacts. A press folder will be distributed on the spot or can be requested by e-mail.
Download the press release in PDF
Miriam Eisermann | Communications Manager, Energie-Cités,
T : +33 381 65 36 82, http://www.energie-cites.eu/miriam
Angela Hanisch | Communications Manager, Climate Alliance,
T : +49 69 717139 12, angela.hanisch [at] climatealliance.org