Empowering local authorities to become transition leaders: Policy Recommendations

Pathways to a green future

The EU’s bold ambitions to become carbon-neutral by 2050 means that they must cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95% compared to 1990 levels. Since cities are responsible for 70% of these emissions, local governments are required to accelerate efforts to deliver low-carbon, resilient and liveable urban environments for the well-being of their citizens in the collective fight against climate change.

Within the framework of Horizon 2020, the project TOMORROW has been engaging with six pilot cities (Brasov, Brest Métropole, Dublin Region, Mouscron, Niš, and Valencia), to develop local transition roadmaps addressing the challenges of the energy transition in all of its aspects – environmental, economic and social.

Benefitting from contributions of lighthouse cities such as Leuven, Nantes and Växjö, TOMORROW was able to set ambitious goals and foster strong political commitments. This allowed pilot cities to successfully engage citizens in decision-making, collaborative governance and implementation.

The following policy recommendations provide the lessons-learned from the project’s efforts to empower local authorities as leaders of the transition towards climate-neutrality. Highlighting the core features of local transition roadmaps, each recommendation is complemented with a success story from a Pilot City of the TOMORROW project.

This booklet aims to inspire local decision-makers and administrators to become facilitators of their territorial transitions to climate-neutrality; by elevating ambitions, building capacities, nurturing existing initiatives, strengthening networks, and creating synergies among different actors, in a highly collaborative and co-creative process.

These recommendations address three important pillars to design a local roadmap:

(1) The political ambition necessary to question the unsustainability of the status quo.

(2) The structural reorganisations needed to equip local administrations with the tools to develop their transition roadmaps.

(3) The opportunities for local governments to internally source greater capacities and support.


Download the Policy Recommendations