|LOW CARBON TREND SETTERS debated in Krakow|
Over 80 participants from 12 countries, including many Covenant Signatories, Covenant Coordinators and Supporters, gathered in Krakow, Poland, for an intensive two-day workshop LOW CARBON TREND SETTERS in 2020 on 3-4 October 2012.
This motivating training event was organized in the framework of the ENERGY FOR MAYORS project (co-financed by Intelligent Energy Europe - IEE) and the APPETITE FOR CLIMATE project (co-financed by the Polish National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management). The aim was to exchange views and share experiences and lessons learned from the implementation of the Covenant of Mayors (CoM) in different European countries.
The workshop focused on the crucial role played by local governments in moving towards a low-carbon economy and smart city infrastructure. It was aimed at supporting the bottom-up European city initiative entitled the “Covenant of Mayors” by strengthening capacities of municipalities and their supporters in the field of local energy planning. The workshop provided a unique opportunity to listen to inspiring and motivating presentations of Kristina Dely, director of the CoM Office, the representatives of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (worldwide network of over 1200 sustainable cities and towns) and experts from all over Europe, including Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Poland and Spain.
One focus of the workshop was on the important and mobilizing role of Covenant Coordinators and Supporters, which help municipalities in achieving sustainable energy development. It became clear that active towns and cities can also get wide-ranging support from the presented projects: City SEC, Come2COM, Covenant capaCITY, ENNEREG – Regions 202020, VIS NOVA and Green Twinning (two latter are implemented by the Polish Network “Energie Cities”).
Participants could learn about the experiences and achievements of European and Polish cities (Warsaw, Bielsko-Biala and Elk) who had signed the Covenant of Mayors and are pioneers in the field of energy efficiency and climate protection. ‘The Covenant has been very useful for us to increase awareness of political decision makers on sustainable energy and its methodological framework helps to constantly monitor our work and mobilize ourselves’ – said Leszek Drogosz, Director of the Infrastructure Department of the City of Warsaw.
Andreea Iancu from the EC’s Joint Research Center (JRC) provided guidance on the elaboration of a Baseline Emission Inventory (BEI) and a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) – both to be submitted by Covenant signatories. Further, representatives of municipalities presented concrete examples and best practices, inspiring the audience to go home and engage in similar activities.
Two support tools, that were highlighted, were the municipal energy management system and the online TOOLBOX developed within the framework of the ENERGY FOR MAYORS project. The latter is an online database to collect resources relevant to local energy management and climate protection: www.energyformayors.eu/toolbox. Moreover the audience learned about financing sources available to Covenant signatories – a major topic for all cities and towns in the current economic crisis.
The participants unanimously accepted the text of the Appeal addressing EU institutions, state and regional governments, as well as the financial institutions for the support of the CoM signatories’ efforts and activities aiming at climate protection.
The workshop was followed by a meeting of the Polish CoM Dialogue Platform which gathered both CoM signatories and the representatives of cities and municipalities interested in joining this initiative. Zbigniew Michniowski, President of the Board of the Polish Network "Energie Cites" and Deputy Mayor of Bielsko-Biała, underlined that 'Many Polish municipalities have already undertaken CO2 reduction activities. They just need to be effectively encouraged by the good examples of CoM signatories to join the Covenant of Mayors movement'.
Presentations from the workshop: