Page 18 - European Energy Innovation - Winter 2014
P. 18
Winter 2014 European Energy Innovation


quality of life, and take on other delivered to the centre on smaller, taxation frameworks to promote
issues at the same time. Transport electric trucks. more environmentally-friendly
is a good example. Making it solutions, such as renewable
more energy efficient not only Solutions such as these can energy, and switching to more
lowers CO2 emissions. If we do it result in ‘smarter cities’ through sustainable transport modes.
right, it also improves air quality smart management. ICT can Taxation should help promote
and reduces noise. Cycling, for help, for instance by facilitating clean vehicles, discourage
instance, does all of this, and the management of energy company cars, and incentivise
also improves your health. In demand and supply. We will be less-polluting fuels for road
Utrecht, cycling has become so most successful if we integrate vehicles, to reduce not only CO2
successful that we are running out these new solutions into urban emissions but also air pollution.
of parking space for bikes. That’s planning, be it for reducing CO2,
why we are currently building cleaning up the air or making our While we need change, decisions
what may be the world’s largest streets less congested. on tax policies must be carefully
bicycle parking facility, with considered and stable in the
space for some 12,500 bicycles, Greening the economy can also longer term to boost investments
and investing in improving our create green jobs, linked to in sustainable solutions. For
bike lanes. Delivering goods renewable energy, retrofitting instance, unstable renewables
is not always possible by bike, of buildings, green vehicles subsidies in the Netherlands
so we introduced the cargo and improved public transport. have made investments in these
hopper: goods are reloaded Many of our cities are working to technologies too uncertain in
from conventional trucks at a ensure that these green jobs also recent years.
hub outside the city and then benefit those who otherwise find
it difficult to access the labour While we have to continue
Lot van Hooijdonk, deputy mayor of Utrecht market. Later this year, we will mitigating climate change, we
for transport and mobility, energy and publish a EUROCITIES collection know already that we can’t avoid
environment and chair of the EUROCITIES of good practice examples from it entirely. We will have to adapt
Environment Forum cities supporting these ‘green to extreme weather phenomena,
jobs for social inclusion’. be it cloudbursts, storms, heat
waves or droughts. Cities, with
As much as greening is an their dense populations and
economic opportunity, financing ‘urban heat island’ effect of
climate action remains a major densely built-up areas, face
issue. The EU and member particular challenges. We will
states need to continue work continue to develop solutions
on financial instruments, such that make our cities better
as easily applicable revolving places to live, such as designing
funds. Cities must have direct green areas that not only absorb
access to these instruments, in rainwater and help cool the
collaboration with the relevant city down, but are also great
managing authorities. We recreation spaces.
also need to further roll out
instruments making it possible It is true that climate change
for energy efficiency measures is a threat, and tackling it
to be paid for with the energy needs substantial efforts and
cost savings they generate, investments. But it is also true
notably energy performance that if we tackle it the right way, it
contracts. Member states can be an opportunity. Cities are
need to adjust their national ready to seize it. l
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