Local authorities have clearly understood the vital role they have to play in long-term energy and climate planning. They did not hesitate to adopt these plans, even in countries with no governmental commitment to carbon neutrality yet. With technical support and close collaboration with regional authorities, they will be game changers in the coming decades.Alexandra Papadopoulou, project coordinator – National Technical University of Athens
C-Track 50 is an EU funded project under the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, launched on March 2018 and concluded in August 2021. Its objective was to achieve climate resilience and carbon neutrality by 2050 by:
Local and regional authorities have a critical role to play in achieving carbon neutrality. Alignment with national priorities and cooperation over multiple levels of governance will bolster impact. C-Track 50 held a series of roundtables, meetings, workshops and a conference to bring stakeholders together and foster team building and alignment of priorities and policies.
Participation in these events far exceeded targets, in many cases more than double that foreseen, showing the overwhelming enthusiasm and readiness of stakeholders to exploit all available opportunities to progress.
To support public authorities in fostering multilevel governance of energy and climate plans, C-Track 50 has produced a ‘Guidebook for Achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2050’, available in 11 EU languages.
C-Track 50 organised numerous capacity-building activities. The workshops and EU conference were record breakers, with double or more the participation targeted. Overall, the project increased the skills, capabilities and competencies on energy issues of more than 1 200 stakeholders from 235 local and regional authorities. These individuals are now ambassadors and instruments of change, better prepared to lead the way to climate neutrality by 2050, and lead they have.
A total of 118 long-term local and regional energy and climate plans were developed in the context of the project. Of the 107 local plans, 44 had already been approved by municipal council decision by project completion. In addition, 89 funding proposals covering 117 municipalities were supported, with an overall investment of more than EUR 450 million.
C-Track 50’s astounding success at mobilising and engaging public authorities across multiple levels of governance to participate, develop plans and attract funding has significantly strengthened Europe’s ability to reach climate neutrality by 2050.
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