The role of local authorities in a fair energy transition, through retrofitting buildings

EUSEW2020 | Day 2 | The role of local authorities in a fair energy transition, through retrofitting

As the Communication on the European Green Deal has been published, its ambitious targets present both a challenge as well as an opportunity for local authorities. The targeted sustainable energy transition creates opportunities for the sub-national level. Also, it is pivotal that this transition will happen in a fair and inclusive way, leaving nobody behind. This session will give insight in strategies adopted at the sub-national level to retrofit (residential, but also other) buildings to accelerate the energy transition in an inclusive way.

Energy poverty has been defined as “a situation household or an individual is unable to afford basic energy services (heating, cooling, lighting, mobility and power) to guarantee a decent standard of living due to a combination of low income, high energy expenditure and low energy efficiency of their homes”. Estimations show that 1 out of 10 European citizens is affected by energy poverty.

Many Europeans face daily challenges such as not being able to keep their homes warm during winter, on a comfortable temperature during summer, having to walk more than 30 minutes to access public transport and often struggle to pay their energy bills. Therefore, energy poverty can substantially affect citizens’ quality of life, underlining the urgency of a sustainable energy transition.

Research shows that buildings account for more than a third (38,1%) of the total energy consumption in the European Union, the building sector consumes more energy than transportation (33,3%) and industry (25,9%). Therefore, refurbishing and retrofitting buildings, both public as well as residential buildings, is a strategic approach to accelerate the sustainable energy transition: raising energy efficiency, leading to improved access to sustainable and affordable energy for all.

Since 2008, more than 10.000 cities and towns across Europe have committed to the Covenant of Mayors. Covenant cities and towns are paving the way towards climate neutrality in 2050 with impactful actions by 2030 and by developing integrated strategies to deliver inclusive climate action that benefits all citizens equitably.

Different local and regional governments will present their retrofitting strategies in this webinar, sharing their lessons learnt and good practices.


COP26 Stakeholder Manager
Glasgow City Council (hosting city of UNFCCC COP26)
Head of Department of Sustainability
Wroclaw City Office
Analyst and Project Manager
Tartu City Government
CEMR Spokesperson on Environment
Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities