Collective conviction is essential
As the national debate on energy transition reaches its conclusion, this issue of our revue is widening the scope to include questions linking ecology, energy and towns. Cécile Duflot, French Minister for Ter ritorial Equalit y and Housing, talks about an “ecological t ransition that impacts on every lifestyle”. She considers that, “energy matters should be part of overall strategies for territorial development.” The leaders that we questioned (the President of the Association of Mayors in France, the Chairman and C.E.O. of the Caisse des Dépôts and the President of Ademe) all agree. As Jacques Pélissard puts it, “If we are to be successful in dealing with energy transition, greater recognition should be given to the territorial dimension.” As to the M.E.Ps Karima Delli and Marie-Thérèse Sanchez-Schmid, they would like to see the EU’s Cohesion Policy live up to it s ambitions as far as sustainable development is concerned. The round table that we organised with politicians and public and private stakeholders explored the prospect of territorial governance for energy transition through the introduction of a real organising role for local authorities. This is the position expressed by the Mayor of Metz who has extensive experience in the areas of energy production and management. His experience is similar to the decentralised German model that was the main topic for discussion at a Franco-German seminar held in Stuttgart by the Energy Cities network. Its annual meeting, in Växjö (Sweden), focussed on the same problems. The issue of governance seems to be equally strategic with regard to the emergence of sustainable towns in the Arab world on the shores of the Mediterranean, according to Pierre-Arnaud Barthel’s analysis. And for a gigantic urban district such as Greater Wuhan in China, the same type of question is being asked. In fact, Jean Haëntjens believes that it is strong collective belief which will be the key element in the success, or failure, of energy transition all over the world.