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Eera event 14 October 2021

Beyond technology: The Clean Energy Transition for climate-neutral, smart, and beautiful cities

Achieving a climate-neutral society by 2050 stands as one of Europe’s top political priorities. This objective has been written into a climate law and is anchored in a comprehensive set of policy initiatives under the EU Green Deal supporting the CET. However, and despite the unprecedented development of low-carbon energy technologies, achieving the CET goals remains a significant challenge. More specifically, "cities are the place where decarbonisation strategies coexist and intersect” and the Mission on Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities under HEU foresees to reach 100 of them by 2030.  

Therefore, this event will tackle from a cross-cutting perspective the transition challenge that developing climate-neutral, smart, and beautiful cities entails as a key building block towards making the whole of EU climate-neutral. The session aims at making the case for the need to develop transdisciplinary innovation capabilities and incorporate bottom-up approaches as the path to deliver on the Clean Energy Transition (CET) in cities. 

A diverse range of stakeholders will outline that the transition to net-zero goes beyond technology and calls for a systemic, cross-sectoral, and transdisciplinary perspective. They will argue that achieving the milestone of 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030 and growing this objective to 100,000 by later in the century, represents a societal innovation that requires additional efforts in R&I across the entire value chain.   

The different speakers will introduce the multiple perspectives and approaches regarding the key transition challenge of developing climate-neutral and smart cities. One of those will be the exploration of a conceptual framework that addresses the transition to net-zero from a systemic, cross-sectoral, and transdisciplinary perspective. Each presentation will be preceded by a poll about the topic to gain insights into the audience knowledge/expectations and will be concluded by a short Q&A with at least one question from the audience through an interactive app. 

The event will continue with a panel discussion bringing together the speakers and encouraging active participation from the public. The aim will be to reconcile the different perspectives presented, understand the opportunities and challenges that still lay ahead, and brainstorm on the possible solutions and alternatives to reach the above stated milestones if we are to develop into a climate-neutral society by 2050.

Read the programme


  • Adel El Gammal, Secretary General - EERA
  • Georg Houben, Policy Officer Smart Cities & Communities - DG ENER – Team, Consumers, Local Initiatives, Just Transition, European Commission
  • Annemie Wyckmans, Head of NTNU Smart Sustainable Cities, Mission Innovation Champion, and Coordinator of the EERA Joint Programme on Smart Cities - NTNU and EERA
  • Lucienne Krosse, Thematic Lead for Smart Buildings and Cities - InnoEnergy
  • Charlotte Spörndli, General Manager - Association European Energy Award AISBL

Practical information


14 Oct 2021


1:30 PM - 3:00 PM


Maria Luisa Fernández Vanoni

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