Representatives of European cities, the European Commission and the European heat-pump industry gathered in Vienna on Wednesday to discuss the policies and technologies needed to fully decarbonise the heating and cooling sector in cities by 2050.
“Decarbonisation of cities is indispensable for the decarbonisation of society. The good thing is that we have the technologies available to fully decarbonise cities by 2050 – that is the key outcome of the presentations given on 16 May at the DecarbCities conference in Vienna”, said Thomas Nowak, Secretary general of the European heat pump association, co-organiser of the first Decarb Cities conference. “If industry and policy makers pull on the same string, I am sure that we can make it”.
The event triggered discussions on major aspects, such as the role of city planning, digitalisation, gas infrastructure and hybrids. Challenges and solutions at city level were showcased and the popular Heat pump city of the year award was handed in to the most innovative city (this year’s winner: the Town of Veere, in the Netherlands).
A representative of the Austrian government also strongly backed the industry initiative. Secretary General Josef Plank stated that the upcoming EU Presidency would be fully behind the Paris climate agreement during the negotiations on the Clean energy package and further support the inclusion of ambitious targets on heating and cooling among the priorities of the next European Commission (after the 2019 European elections).