Public local and regional action: for a new energy culture
This is a set of three documents debated and adopted by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities on 29 May 2008.
Energy issues are again high on the agenda for two main reasons: climate change and the need for a secure supply of energy at affordable prices. The industrialized countries need to reduce massively their energy intensity and make greater use of renewable energy sources. Multilateral agreements and European and national decisions will not in themselves create the technical conditions for the substantial changes required to rise to these challenges. Over 75% of the energy is consumed in towns and cities for housing, travel, work, entertainment, etc. A fundamental shift is impossible without a strong commitment from local and regional authorities, which, being close to the public and economic operators, can act as a catalyst for change. Local and regional authorities must, accordingly, play a major role in setting energy policies geared largely to energy efficiency, energy savings, improved energy output and renewable energy. A sustainable local energy policy has a major beneficial impact on local development, economic activities, employment, the local and global environment, quality of life and the attractiveness of towns and cities. Furthermore, it does much to alleviate the precarious energy supply situation of inhabitants experiencing hardship.