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ENERGY CITIES' PROPOSALS FOR THE ENERGY TRANSITION OF CITIES AND TOWNS

4.7 Use town twinning as a springboard for energy transition
Inventing new local governance

The problem at hand

Town twinning was invented to take up the challenge of fraternisation between peoples after the Second World War and following the fall of the Berlin wall. It has led to cultural and sport exchanges, thus helping to bring peoples into a closer understanding of each other.  Twinning agreements with developing countries have created another dimension, that of technical co-operation, including in the field of energy supply, whereas those with emerging countries like China often focus on urban ecology and pollution control. Alongside diplomatic relations between countries, direct relations between local authorities have become an essential feature.
The challenge of energy transition is at the same time political, economic, technical, environmental and cultural. It is therefore perfectly suited to exchanges and co-operation programmes between sister-cities, which can help one another. Exchanges between twinned municipalities in the field of energy are still limited. But this is changing.

Proposal

Use town twinning as a springboard for co-operation between cities in transition.
Twinned cities have a good, trust-based knowledge of each other. Twinning will become a common tool for defining climate, energy and urban planning policies, encouraging the exchange of best practice and co-operation between players (municipalities, businesses, community organisations, etc.), promoting new ideas and pooling experiences.

Conditions for success

  • Considering existing twinning agreements as capable of integrating energy transition co-operation objectives.
  • Inviting all local players to commit to a co-operation process with their counterparts: energy suppliers and distributors, financers, housing associations, schools, hospitals, community organisations, citizens, etc.
  • Developing common monitoring tools and encouraging transfers between teams.

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Cities and towns that show the way

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