The 25 partners of the European project DIALOGUES – arrived in the Umbrian town of Città di Castello on April 26th – guests of Alleanza per il Clima Italia, a European network of 1,800 cities committed to protecting the climate at the local level.
Mayor Luca Secondi who received the delegation on April 26th in City Hall recalled the historical role of the Municipality in this initiative.
“We have been hosting the Alleanza per il Clima Italia since 1990, an initiative that, before others, has responded in a concrete way to the challenges of a changing climate. Today in our fight against climate change we are no longer talking only about environmental technologies, as important as energy efficiency and renewable energies are, but more and more about the role of citizens in the energy transition, where local authorities play and outstanding role. At a time when many families and small and medium-sized enterprises are struggling to deal with the increase in heating and electricity bills, the Municipality must be at their side to fight energy poverty and support the productive sector. These are issues that the DIALOGUES project addresses with the concept of energy citizenship at its center, i.e., enabling citizens to become an active part in this rapid transformation of the energy sector, a challenge to be faced not only for climate change, but also due to the dramatic impact of the war in Ukraine on the energy sector.
Our very best wishes go to this group of scientist and practitioners coming from institutes of excellence from all over Europe in this pioneering project wanted by the European Union, and we will follow the results with interest, not least to align with the European objectives and the funds of the PNRR to support the profound transition towards a fossil free future.” Andrea Kollmann, from the Institute for Energy of the University of Linz (Austria), Lead partner of DIALOGUES, thanking the Mayor for his warm words of welcome, underlined the importance of Città di Castello for the work of DIALOGUES that will continue until April 2024 to render concrete a concept such as energy citizenship in a direct collaboration with local actors and specifically in Città di Castello the Municipality, Caritas and the University for the Three Ages, UNITRE. “Only to the extent that we will be able to render energy citizenship operational on the ground with the directly interested parties, we will be able to give concrete indications to the European Union for the next phase of energy policies. We need much more active involvement of citizens and local institutions in various forms, from energy communities to the behavioral changes of each of us for a sustainable future.”
During two days, from April 26th to April 28th, DIALOGUES partners discussed important issues for the operationalisation of the concept of “energy citizenship” and defined specific actions to enable a deep and inclusive energy citizenship to emerge.