Launched in 1998 by the Urban Community of Dunkirk (CUD) and the Environment and Energy Management Agency (Ademe), the European Conference on Energy Transition has started its 22nd edition, in partnership with Bordeaux and Greater Geneva. The event will bring together representatives of public authorities, economic bodies, personalities from the academic world and civil society to discuss the theme of energy transition applied to territories. The common thread of this new digital edition will be “a resilient economy and communities”.
Skills transfer and focus on know-how
Participants will be able to attend this event 100% online, a first highlight of which will take place during the first three days of plenary sessions, from January 12 to 14, followed by a program of specific workshops spread over two months, from January 18 until March 12, 2021. The debates will focus on themes as varied as the circular economy, renewable gas, water management, transport, greening and energy performance of housing. Bordeaux Métropole will run workshops on the renovation of heating networks, based on feedback from the Haut de Garonne case, as well as on the renovation of condominiums in accordance with new thermal standards.
According to Arnaud Leroy, president of Ademe, “it is important to make public what communities are doing”. The event aims to raise awareness and inform about the advances and reflections of companies, States and experts and to take stock of the latest concepts and practices in terms of public policies, between communities of different sizes. As such, the Agency implements the Cit’ergie program which manages and labels communities committed to climate-friendly, energy-saving and air-preserving policies, and currently supervises more than 200 communities. Its platform “Agir pour la transition” also offers various advice and funding assistance for elected officials who wish to go green.
“More resilient territories”
While local communities have been called upon to play a leading role in the management of the health crisis, the 22nd edition of these European Assises focuses on the theme of resilience: “a word that we have heard a lot lately”, says Patrice Vergriete, president of the Urban Community of Dunkirk. “We have understood with the health crisis that the next decades will experience a series of crises: our territories will have to be resilient”.
The organizing metropolis highlights its progress in terms of energy performance: winner of the “Territories of innovation” award for the modernization of its industrial-port complex, Patrice Vergriete also announces the establishment of an offshore wind farm . In 2019, the community of agglomerations of Dunkirk also introduced free public transport which would have allowed, according to the elected official, “double the use of public transport”.
“Show that ecology is complementary to other objectives”
For his part Alain Anziani, the president of Bordeaux Métropole, underlined the need “a new governance” in terms of ecology. While “awareness of the climate challenge has never been so important”, the elected PS points the “discrepancy between very generous speeches” and “goals never achieved”, which he explains by the quantity of fields on which the metropolises are solicited, for limited budgets.
For the president of the metropolis, it is a question of making the energy transition a source of attractiveness: “The ecological question requires new governance, new priorities, new choices: we must create enthusiasm for ecology, show that it is complementary to the achievement of other objectives”. The President of Greater Geneva, Antonio Hodgers, also underlined the importance of the mobilization of the various actors of the territory: “The citizen can make some efforts, but the majority must come from public and private communities”, he said.