On February 7 2017, the European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions announced their plan to work together in an initiative to create smarter EU cities and regions, with the overall goal of boosting investment and building a more sustainable Europe.
European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union MaroÅ¡ Å efÄoviÄ and European Committee of the Regions President Markku Markkula […] stressed that regions and cities must become smarter by strengthening cooperation and better exploit new technologies if the EU is to meet its climate change commitments, end energy poverty and drive sustainable growth. […] The EU has set down the right path to deliver a more sustainable future but it relies on regions and cities to deliver. The progress in energy efficiency, cutting CO2 emissions and using renewables is encouraging but far more needs to be done.
The announcement comes after the publication of the second stage of the Energy Union report, which confirms that the EU is proceeding well towards its 2020 energy and climate objectives. Of course, European cities still face enormous challenges in the fields of energy and climate, such as air pollution and traffic congestion. As centers of innovation, growth and economic development, however, they can be an important part of the solution to those challenges.
EU cities and regions should develop their own smart strategies, cooperate with each other and with the private sector in order to use all available funds in the attempt to plug the existing â‚¬250 billion investment gap and work towards the 2020 energy and climate objectives. Plans to reduce energy consumption, invest in innovation and digitalize the economy of cities and regions will bring jobs and environmental benefits.
The creation of smarter cities and regions can be a way of demonstrating the benefits that the EU brings to its citizens during these critical times. The results of this new initiative are eagerly anticipated.
The original news report on the announcement can be found here.