30 May 2022

On May 18, the European Commission published the REPowerEU Plan. This plan aims not only to fast-forward the green transition but also to rapidly reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels considering the current geopolitical context.

In regards with these two key objectives, key recommendations were developed by the European Commission to achieve the set objectives. The European Commission also established key actions to implement within the European organisations.

Amongst the key actions set up by the European Commission in the REPowerEU Plan, several are specifically aimed to help cities to fasten their green transition. These key actions will specifically have impacts on energy savings, accelerating the rollout of renewables and developed smart investments amongst others.

Grouped under four main themes, the measures  should help cities to generate significant energy savings over a one year period. These measures are all within the framework of the ‘Fit for 55’ package.


The first topic on which cities can have a big impact on carbon reduction is transportation. For instance, reinforcing the adoption of electric and more efficient cars and buses would already have a high impact as well as reducing speed while driving. Regarding the public transportation offer, the European Commission suggests that reducing the price of public transports and rail would have a medium to high impact on the environment as well as a social impact.

Another key point regarding the transport area is to promote walking, cycling and micro mobility in cities. For instance, cities can support free bike sharing systems, incentivise bike purchases through subsidies or tax reductions.

Finally, to facilitate citizens’ shift to a low carbon mobility, cities can develop car-free zones or days to facilitate active mobility or invest in new bike lanes in and around/towards cities.

Cross-cutting energy services and financing measures

Regarding this area of the plan, the European Commission suggests cities to take actions to inform citizens and businesses about the energy wastage in households. Indeed, avoiding consumption at peak hours or switch-off lights in companies and households can save up a lot of energy.

It is also recommended to audit the energy performance of businesses to highlight the area where actions are needed. These two actions only could save up to 14.5Mtoe (Million Tonnes of Oil Equivalent) in one year. This measure can also be applied to the level of a city.

Buildings and industry

The main action to be taken regarding buildings concern the heating and air-conditioning systems. Default settings on condensing boilers can be adjusted to reduce energy consumption by 8% and increase efficiency. It is also interesting for cities to support business in installing Building automation and control systems that monitor and automatically adjust energy use in buildings. This type of monitoring can also be added to cities’ own buildings.

Regarding the actions that can be taken on the industry level, the main one that cities can support is to accelerate and financially support the replacement of fossil fuel systems with renewables. This action alone could save up to 5Mtoe in one year.

Already through the ICC, significant steps that align with the goals of REpowerEU have been taken and should continue. The ICC hopes cities will show their support for the advancement of these goals.