The energy transition concerns everyone. Its success will highly rely on its democratic and inclusive dimensions, at every level. This is especially true when looking at heating and cooling systems, which must be sustainable, affordable, and accessible for all. In this context, cities are the direct guarantors of these values. There will be no silver bullet to decarbonise these systems. Considering the different (and sometimes opposed) interacting perspectives, one question arises: how can cities ensure that heating and cooling systems are efficient, sustainable, and democratic? Overcoming these challenges will be key to reach the European climate targets on time.
This year’s Celsius Summit hosted by the City of Strasbourg will be on the theme of energy democracy in heating and cooling: How do we engage citizens in the energy transition and how do we get policymakers to listen to citizens? Is even democracy the best political system to reach net-zero? How can policymakers make tough decisions that might not be popular in their constituency but are necessary for the long run?