In this briefing, co-published with Energy Cities, we argue that municipal climate partnerships must receive more recognition and financial support by way of EU or nationally funded projects in order to fully tap into their potential as levers for climate action. Drawing from years of experience in numerous projects with cities from all over Europe, we shed light on how precisely city partnerships can catalyse climate action, and which efforts the European, national, and local level must undertake to empower cities for European cooperation on climate.
The main take-aways are:
1. Using established channels, avenues for exchange can be accelerated by long-standing partnerships which already have the grounding of mutual understanding and robust rapport.
2. Partnership programmes provide an opportunity for lasting contacts between the municipal employees and those providing external inputs but also between the different segments of external actors themselves.
3. There are currently very few funding programmes or projects on the national or European level that support longstanding climate-thematic municipal exchanges: more targeted seed and project funding is needed.
4. The exchange between partnerships helps conveying a positive image of Europe and cross-border relations to citizens.