Cities are increasingly becoming the real game changers when it comes to addressing climate change and energy issues, and are now leading the transition to a low-carbon future.

By acting at the local level to solve unsustainable energy crises and climate change causes, cities can bypass national political discord to create partnerships full of opportunities that accelerate climate action as well as facilitate access to climate finance for mitigation and resilience. Cities are teaming up, creating coalitions and sharing knowledge on the most advanced and innovative solutions to tackle climate-related risks. These strategic partnerships are rooted in strong projects and initiatives that reflect cities’ ambitions, priorities and interests.

Friends of Europe publication acknowledges cities’ evolving and prominent role within the energy transition. It is released at a critical time as city representatives are meeting during COP23 in Bonn at the Covenant of Mayors’ Climate Summit of Local and Regional Leaders to show their growing leadership in climate action. By demonstrating that non-state actors from across the world can come together to share best practice and promote the transition to low-emission and climate-resilient economies, cities are being globally transformative.

This publication is divided into three distinct parts. Each section informs on a variety of experiences that cities are dealing with, whether it is their vulnerability to climate change, smart thinking in the context of a rapidly evolving energy system and the use of new technologies, or green solutions to boost economic growth as a result of innovative financial tools, the sustainable development goals and new business opportunities.