September 2023: as we emerge from one the hottest summers on record, we must start preparing for another winter strained by Russia’s war in Ukraine and the consequent energy crisis. The growing hazards of climate change experienced this summer – from heat waves, and droughts to floods and wildfires – are exerting mounting pressure on local governments across Europe, while they continue to grapple with inflation and unstable energy prices.
Fortunately, the panorama is not all bleak: cities and towns across Europe have shown their commitment and capability to tackle both these challenges through tangible actions. The Cities Energy Saving Sprint, launched to confront last winter’s energy crisis, showed us the inseparable link between the energy and climate crises and the importance of combating them together with common solutions. Local governments, at the forefront of these challenges, have emerged as pioneers in adopting such solutions, aimed at saving energy and moving away from fossil fuels at the same time.
What is the Cities Energy Saving Sprint?
The Cities Energy Saving Sprint was launched last year in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as a way of encouraging cities to put in place emergency energy saving measures to prepare for a winter strongly impacted by the energy crisis. Cities from across Europe of all shapes and sizes rallied to the call and took part in the Sprint, sharing best practices to save energy while protecting vulnerable citizens, via a Repository and Videos, while using a Toolbox for tips.
Although the EU’s swift action to save energy and fill gas storage paid off last winter, the energy crisis is still looming over the continent. Thanks to the EU’s efficient action, coupled with a mild winter, the energy crisis did not have the disastrous impact that was expected. Despite the success, it’s important not to let our guards down now. Energy supply remain strained and prices volatile.
Saving energy needs to remain a central focus for governments in all of Europe. Especially considering the role energy saving plays in mitigating climate change. For this, it’s essential that cities continue to save energy not only to ease the ongoing energy crisis, but also to strengthen and accelerate their long-term strategies to tackle the climate crisis.
Fortunately, many cities are already ahead of the game, and showing the way towards more sustained and long-term energy savings.
Sustain your Sprint: keep saving energy!
Inspired by this action, we are launching a new phase of the Cities Energy Saving Sprint, encouraging cities to sustain and build on last winter’s success, as a way of comprehensively tackling the energy and climate crises as one.
Follow us closely to learn how you can build on the Cities Energy Saving Sprint and follow fellow cities’ example, whether you took part last year or not. It’s not too late to join the race. We will be sharing success stories from last winter's Sprint that are being upheld for the coming winter, for you to draw inspiration and keep saving energy in your city.
Share your experience
Which measures from last winter’s Sprint is your city upholding? How are you integrating these into your city’s long-term actions?
Share your experience with us and other cities by sending us an email at email@example.com
- Publication date
- 29 August 2023