This year’s edition has been titled “Urban Energy Transformation to Achieve Climate Neutrality and Improve Life Quality”.
In 2023, the Competition theme centres around initiatives and actions taken by local urban governments to effectively implement urban energy transformation, with intent to enable climate neutrality and preserve life quality, including comprehensive improvements to energy effectiveness with the use of digital solutions.
The goal behind the Competition is to identify, appreciate and recognise cities and towns engaged in transforming the local energy sector, striving for climate neutrality through:
- Innovative and systemic approach to in-house energy policy,
- Efforts to generate and use energy from renewable sources and municipal waste unused in recycling,
- Improved energy efficiency, using i.a. process digitisation as a measure to achieve the goal.
Whom does the Competition address?
The Competition addresses cities and towns, which means that the Competition is open to local government unit entrants with the following status: cities and towns with county, urban municipality, or urban-and-rural municipality rights. All entries will be assessed by aforesaid categories.
Given the steadily increasing climate change impact on local community functioning, climate change preventing policies adopted by the European Union, and energy crisis consequences, the “LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEADERS OF GOVERNANCE 2023” will focus on the use of integrated approaches and state-of-the-art technologies contributing to attempts to achieve climate neutrality, greater energy efficiency improvement, and social inclusion in related areas. Consequently, the Competition has been designed to promote:
- Strategic leadership of municipal local governments in energy transformation and climate change prevention processes;
- Power source transformation – replacing fossil fuels with renewables;
- Reducing energy and environmental resource use (in recognition of the following: desirable change to local resident mobility patterns, emission reduction in cities, towns and their functional areas, thermal modernisation of municipal and private infrastructure, and improved energy efficiency of buildings and processes);
- Integrating digitisation and smart technologies in local energy resource management;
- Co-operation between the public and private sectors and the civic society, with intent to achieve sustainable development;
- Engaging local residents in decision-making processes, and planning and monitoring climate neutrality- and energy efficiency-related activities;
- Promoting ecological innovation, education and awareness in local communities;
- Developing public acceptance for energy transformation through the transparency and openness of decision-making processes associated with climate and energy policies.
- Competition winners will be awarded “Local Government Leader of Governance 2023” diplomas and titles. Representatives of Competition winners and honourable mention entrants will join a study visit to Norway.
- All finalists will be presented with diplomas confirming their participation in the Competition finale (“Local Government Leader of Governance 2023” Competition Finalist).
- The list of Competition laureates, honourable mentions and finalists will be announced during a Local Development Forum, including a certificate presentation ceremony, in December 2023.
The Competition is organised as part of the “Local Development” Programme, funded by the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism, and Norway Financial Mechanism 2014-2021. The Association of Polish Cities is the Project Leader, partners including the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS), Institute of Urban and Regional Development and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy is the designated Programme Operator.