The NALAS Task Force on Energy and Climate at Local Level was officially launched during its 1st meeting, held on 4-5 October 2023, at the Istanbul Congress Centre in Istanbul.

The purpose of this Task Force will be to support and facilitate the promotion and implementation of energy transition and climate initiatives across the region, by assessing the needs of the local governments when it comes to tackling climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to setting up a regional HelpDesk to promote the Covenant of Mayors initiative and collections of best practices in energy transition and climate action, including the development of Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans.

The first meeting of the Task Force was of inaugural and introductory nature, covering: review of the Guidelines for NALAS Task Force on Energy and Climate, presentation of the Establishment and Promotion of a Help Desk, and future activities which are supported by the EU4 Energy Transition: Covenant of Mayors in the Western Balkans and Türkiye” project.

Day 1: Setting the Stage

The event commenced with engagement in relevant sessions at the Marmara Urban Forum (MARUF). These sessions provided invaluable insights and discussions on topics such as boosting energy transition, women’s leadership for resilient communities, and turning climate ambition into action.

During the day, participants had the opportunity to attend sessions focusing on various aspects of energy transition and climate resilience, gaining essential knowledge and perspectives that would set the context for the subsequent discussions of the task force.

Day 2: Forming a Solid Foundation

The second day began with further MARUF sessions, offering an enriching and diverse array of topics crucial to understanding the complexities of urban sustainability.

In the afternoon, the NALAS Task Force on Energy and Climate at Local Level convened.

Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities

A pivotal part of the meeting was a discussion on the challenges and opportunities faced by local authorities in meeting their energy transition and climate action goals. Task force members participated in group discussions, addressing critical questions:

  1. Identifying Challenges: What challenges do municipalities encounter in achieving their climate targets and implementing energy transition measures?
  2. Envisioning Support: How can the future Help Desk of Covenant of Mayors for Energy and Climate effectively support municipalities and Local Government Associations?

The engaging discussions aimed to set the stage for innovative strategies and solutions to advance sustainability at the local level.

This event was organised as part of the EU4 Energy Transition: Covenant of Mayors in the Western Balkans and Türkiye project.