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In EU policy-making circles, there is the firm belief that the green and digital transition go together: we shall have a ‘twin transition’, or no transition at all. But what are we to think of this? Can it be successful? And if not, why not?
The public conference in Barcelona organized by FEPS and the Rafael Campalans Foundation analysed the twin transition from both a global and a local perspective. The event was composed of two panels: the first launched the Policy Study by FEPS and United Nations University “The EU and Northern Africa: together towards a twin transition?”. It took a deep dive into the EU’s green and digital policies vis-à-vis North Africa: has the EU been able to successfully unite the two? And what about Northern Africa? Is there an alignment and tangible impact that is necessary to tackle the global problem of climate change?
The second panel zoomed in on the local level: (smart) cities. At the city level, there is no shortage of initiatives that aim to combine digitalisation and sustainability, from ‘smart’ urban transport to ubiquitous sensors to measure and reduce energy usage. But is the high-tech solution always well-aligned with the imperative of sustainability? And how can local action be scaled up to have the impact necessary to help reach carbon neutrality?
The conference capitalised on the political momentum of the Smart City expo by bringing together relevant stakeholders, policymakers, and academics working in the area of twin transition and connected key progressive actors working at a local, and regional level, to relevant EU and global policy movements. It also provided a context for a more developed understanding of policy developments in EU-North Africa cooperation on the clean energy transition and the digital transition. In doing so it made the different approaches of North African countries more comprehensible and contrasted this to the EU approach with the purpose of enabling and facilitating deeper future cooperation on the Twin Transition.
Is the EU framing of a twin transition a good approach or not? Watch the full conference on the above link.
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