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Energy Cities’
Annual Conference
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Our Programme within ICCA 2019 in Heidelberg, is now online. Below, see Energy cities’ activities.


Wednesday, May 22nd


Energizing Cities – Policies and mechanisms to support local renewable energy implementation – Workshop Part I
Energizing Cities – Challenges and opportunities for local action – Workshop Part II



WHEN: Wednesday May 22nd, from 14:00 to 17:30
WHERE: Heidelberg Convention Centre

– Organized by Energy Cities, REN21 and Sustainable Energy Africa


In 2019, it is clear that both the developed and developing world need to move urgently towards a decarbonized economy fuelled by 100% renewables and zero carbon emissions. The landmark 2018 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.50C is unambiguous in its clarion call to keep emissions below 1.50C, as time is fast running out in which to effect this. The impact of climate change is already upon us. Society and governments need to act now and this involves an active citizenship.

As this transformation occurs with technology changes bringing about power sector disruption and prices becoming more competitive, it is important to steer change towards ensuring greater levels of access to affordable, clean energy for all, whilst also enabling access by the poor to the opportunities in the emerging sustainable energy economy. In other words a just transition implies that the working class, and in particular the poor, do not have to shoulder the bulk of the burden of shifting to a low carbon, cleaner and more climate resilient society and economy.

Urbanisation is a global phenomenon and is growing. Most energy is consumed in cities which therefore play a pivotal role in a low carbon transition. Cities are the sphere of government closest to the communities they serve and as such hold enormous power to transform the energy and carbon emission profile of countries.

Over the past years, local governments have increasingly used their legislative and purchasing powers to implement change in their own operations and in the wider community. Many cities both large and small have been innovative in the implementation of projects. Champions and city officials have demonstrated an ability to think outside of the box. Despite this much still needs to be achieved.

Long term plans and strategies are an essential ingredient to local level energy transitions and whilst they should pursue the Paris-compatible trajectory, they need to be iterative, responsive and dynamic given the differential circumstances and capabilities of cities worldwide. A participatory design and co-creation process in the development of local strategies, leads to a range of local actors being empowered and having shared responsibility. Moreover, key to the success of plans is the development of achievable levers for implementation that address issues of energy poverty. The workshops will consider support mechanisms and planning to further advance the energy transition in cities (Workshop 1) and then move on to present examples of innovative local action, share and exchange experiences and knowledge (Workshop 2).


Objectives: The two workshops aim to place the spotlight on cities and energy transitions in a just and equitable manner.
– Workshop Session 1 focuses on policy and related enabling mechanisms that are in place and need to be in place to support the mainstreaming and scaling up of renewable energy implementation and sustainable solutions at the local level.
– Workshop Session 2 focuses on examples of sustainable energy planning and innovative actions from cities across the world.


Workshop structure: whilst each workshop is standalone, they logically follow on from each other. The structure of both workshops involves some formal specialist input but is largely interactive drawing extensively on participants’ experiences and knowledge.


• Energizing Cities – Workshop Part I, from 14:00 to 15:30
Policies and mechanisms to support local renewable energy implementation.
To reach zero carbon and comply with the Paris agreement, cities must address a wide range of sectors (transport, built environment and industry) in their local strategy which they ideally would develop collaboratively with key stakeholders (government, civil society, academia and business).

Participants: open to all ICCA participants

Set up: part plenary, part world cafe. Room for 100 participants, round tables for 10 people each, Translation: EN, DE.

Outcomes: Identifying potential tools and gaps to scale up local energy transitions with all local actors on board.


• Energizing Cities – Workshop Part II: from 16:00 to 17:30 
Challenges and opportunities for local action.
In order to better understand the mechanisms of support that cities require to scale up local renewable energy and sustainable solutions, REN21, Energy Cities and Sustainable Energy Africa present examples of city innovations from the global north and south. Following on from this, roundtable discussions will be held where different examples of local action on specific themes or sectors will be presented and discussed.

Participants: open to all ICCA participants

Set up: part plenary, part world cafe. Room for 100 participants, round tables for 10 people each, Translation: EN, DE.


• Showcasing local innovation and the potential for scale up.
• Recommendations for national and international processes to include local energy policy development in their agendas.
• Comments on the REN21 draft report.


> Download full Workshops Programme in PDF here.


Thursday, May 23rd


– Mayors’ Breakfast – Organized by City of Heidelberg (from 07:30 to 08:45)
– Mayors’ Session (from 09:00 to 10:30)


WHEN: Thursday May 23rd, from 07:30 to 08:45
WHERE: begins at Prinz Karl, Kornmarkt 1

Participants: open to all mayors.
Set up: part plenary, part world cafe.


Mayors’ Breakfast

Energy Cities’ President and Mayor of Heidelberg, Prof. Dr. Eckart Würzner, invites local leaders from all over the world to this early-morning policy meeting. Come and get your morning motivation coffee and start your day amongst likeminded mayors and deputy-mayors during this special breakfast.


Mayors’ Session

Objective: draw the political agenda and define mayors´ needs for an enabling framework to accelerate this SHARED transition, which are to be handed over to regional, national, and supranational governments. Mayors engaged to fight climate change often meet at different summits but rarely have the opportunity to speak to each other and draw a political agenda for the future. This session concentrates on real debate among peers and replies to the question on what mayors need in order to successfully implement climate protection and realize relevant climate actions at local level. The debate focuses on financial, legal and policy frameworks that are necessary in order to provide mayors with the tools they need to advance local climate actions. Respective demands will be developed to be handed over to regional, national, and the supranational governments.

The scene for the Mayors’ Session is the path towards carbon neutral cities with an active citizenship and high quality of life. Following an introductory speech on how to undergo fundamental changes and how to redefine quality of life and wealth based on the resources we have, the question is how cities can drive the change and what they need. This is followed by a reaction of mayors and a political discussion on how a better SHARE between benefit and responsibilities can lead to new indicators and measurements of wealth to share in a carbon neutral economy. Participants are invited to show their long-term ambition and high commitment through signing up to the Covenant of Mayors and the campaign on the long Term Strategy.

Outcomes: a political agenda for the SHARED transition: what do mayors need from international institutions, from national governments, from local leaders, how does the enabling framework look like? To be handed over to regional, national, and supranational governments. Signing ceremony: New commitments 2030 of the Covenant of Mayors.


Important information: due to technical reasons, Mayor’s Session will finally take place at Prinz Karl, Kornmarkt 1.


> Download Mayor’s Session detailled programme in PDF here.






WHEN: Thursday May 23rd, from 13:00 to 14:00
WHERE: to be confirmed

Participants: open to all Energy Cities Members.
Set up: informal, interactive setting.


Objectives: In 2019, it is clear that the world needs to move urgently towards a decarbonized economy fuelled by 100% renewables and zero emissions. Society and governments need to act now and this involves an active citizenship. Time to develop and invent new, crazy projects with you! We want to hear what you have in mind for the transformation of your cities so that we can start developing together new, transforming projects!

Outcomes: Ideas for new Project Proposals.




WHEN: Thursday May 23rd, from 11:00 to 12:30
WHERE: to be confirmed

Participants: open to all ICCA Participants
Set up: informal, interactive setting.

– Organized by Climate Alliance, Energy Cities and Climate Chance


To put the vertical integration of climate action into practice, all levels of government and a wide range of actors need to take part in the design, planning and implementation of energy and climate policies. These collaborative processes are as important as the ambitions and targets they propose, or even more so: they determine whether all actors can be successfully mobilized and condition whether a broad consensus on the way to reach the objectives can be reached.

Objectives: Design processes for energy and climate policy and planning are as important as the ambition and targets they propose. They are fostering the mobilisation of all actors and are crucial for ensuring a broad consensus on the way to reach the objectives. This session showcases the various ways in which local and regional actors, as well as civil society, are already working with other levels of government to reach common targets, and explore how this can be improved and used across other countries. Examples from the successful Covenant of Mayors framework will be highlighted in particular.

Outcomes: Highlight successful examples of vertically integrated processes of policy design and implementation and explore how these could serve as an example for other countries.


> Download Policy workshop programme in PDF here.




For Members Only


General Assembly
WHEN: Thursday May 23rd, from 18:00 to 19:30
WHERE: City Hall, Markplatz 10

What would be an annual conference without our traditional General Assembly? This is the perfect occasion for you to meet not only the usual suspects but also those working “behind the scenes”: Come an meet our new members and new colleagues.


Gala Diner

WHEN: Thursday May 23rd at 20:00
WHERE: Halle02

Time to celebrate local action and our strong, friendly relationships during our network’s gala dinner.Be our guests at Energy Cities diner, organized to end this 2019 conference in a pleasant and cheerful way.