Back to News & Resources overview
News 15 October 2021

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

Transforming cities into climate-neutral smart cities requires the active engagement and cooperation of both citizens and innovation, concludes a panellist of experts during our EUSEW side event.

On October 14, as part of the EU Sustainable Energy Days 2021 (EUSEW), 70 participants connected to EERA’s side event organised in collaboration with InnoEnergy and the European Energy Award.  The session focused on the theme of the Clean Energy Transition and Smart Cities and what are some of the challenges to this transition.

In September 2021, the European Commission officially launched five Horizon Europe Missions, one of which aims to transform 100 cities into Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities. With 75% of European citizens living in cities, it is undeniable that cities are central in meeting our climate ambitions and decarbonise our societies.  However, despite the availability of low carbon technologies and solutions at a massive scale, achieving a Clean Energy Transition across European cities remains very challenging.

To discuss the matter, the invited speakers were:

  • 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

Each of them introduced the multiple perspectives and approaches regarding the key transition challenge of developing climate-neutral and smart cities. One of those was the exploration of a conceptual framework that addresses the transition to net-zero from a systemic, cross-sectoral, and transdisciplinary perspective, in line with the recently launched EERA White Paper on the Clean Energy Transition

The event continued with a panel discussion bringing whose aim was 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 milestone if we are to develop into a climate-neutral society by 2050.

Watch the recording of the session here and find the slides here.

Joint Programmes

View all