On 26 September, IEEP’s European Week of Regions and Cities side event organised with [ui!] looked at the twin transition at local level as solution to climate challenges.
The twin transition corresponds to the dual environmental and digital transition: to enable a carbon-neutral EU by 2050, and for the EU to achieve its ambition of being sustainable, fair, and competitive. This “green transition” is necessary to mitigate climate and environmental change and the twin-transition is key in decarbonising economies, minimising waste, and reducing pollution. Digital and environmental transitions can also reinforce each other and help achieve the European Green Deal targets for 2050.
The event, organised as a side event for the European Week of Regions and Cities, was co-organised by IEEP and [ui!] and highlighted the importance of evidence-informed policy designed by local authorities to deliver on urban climate objectives. The event mirrors the discussions held in a sister event hosted by IEEP UK in conjunction with [ui] UK during London Climate Action Week earlier this summer.
The twin transition was presented by speakers from [ui!], Eurocities, ICLEI and the European Committee of the Regions, moderated by IEEP’s Research Director Antoine Oger. Antony Page, Managing Director at [ui!] stated that it is essential for cities, now more than ever, to manage the dual transition. Technology combining data sets from various sources can support to gain a comprehensive understanding of environmental challenges. Justine Gangneux, Project Coordinator at Eurocities of the DS4SSCC initiative mentioned numerous good practices and examples where local governments already implement the twin transition towards sustainability targets. For Marieke Schouten, Alderman of Nieuwegein, in the Netherlands, and member of the European Committee of the Regions, local means different things in every EU Member State: although the responsibility of local authorities is very clear: it is at the grassroots level that interventions have the most impact to achieve a sustainable, just and carbon neutral Europe by 2050. Local politicians are accountable to citizens, and they need to think about clean energy, mobility, and biodiversity when planning, and have a key role to play in the twin transition. Lastly, Monika Heyder Senior Officer at ICLEI, and Member of the Digitisation Advisory Board of the City of Freiburg, highlighted that we need to look a bit critically at the transition, engage with different parties and communities and look at solutions that can be replicated in different realities.
IEEP’s event emphasized that local and regional governments are key to achieve the transition: 65% of the SDGs’ targets need engagement and coordination with LRGs.
Watch the discussion of IEEP’s YouTube channel and check our twitter thread for more insights. For more information on IEEP’s work on the dual transition, contact Elisa Decourcelle, IEEP Partnership Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org.