Sustainable Urban Energy in the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument Region – Towards the Covenant of Mayors
The key result of the project is that for the first time Belarus received a strategy for sustainable energy development, which was prepared in full accordance with the standards of the European Union for the city of Polotsk in northern Belarus. Since 2012, Polotsk has been following these strategic guidelines by aiming to harness renewable energy sources (not fossil fuels) as well as by curbing the amount of detrimental matters, namely carbon dioxide, it produces. What is more important, today, 10 other Belarusian cities are implementing their own strategies of the same kind.
“In order to overhaul its energy policy and make it more compatible with the standards of the European Union, Polotsk and Salé relied on the recommendations provided by EU experts. Most importantly, both cities received assistance when developing and launching their Sustainable Energy Action Plans that should ensure the implementation of the EU’s 20-20-20 strategy by Polotsk and Salé. It aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 20%, raise the share of renewable energy sources up to 20%, and increase energy efficiency by 20% by the year 2020,” — Marina Borisova, Project's Public Relations Specialist.
IMPORTANCE OF THE PROJECT
Belarus’s own energy resources cannot satisfy the country’s needs: Belarus’s own sources of fossil fuels can sustain only 15% of the current energy consumption. Therefore, imported gas (from Russia) is the primary source of energy in Belarus whose share in the entire energy system reaches 93%. Obviously, the country will only benefit from adopting alternative ways of energy production and consumption.
Furthermore, before SURE project, no EU-sponsored initiatives or programs on energy and environmental protection had been implemented in Belarus. In other words, Polotsk pioneered the EU’s environmental standards for Belarus; it also became the first Belarusian signatory of the Covenant of Mayors (2011).
As a result, the city started implementing the EU’s 20-20-20 strategy that aims to:
Covenant of Mayors is one of the flagship initiatives promoted by the European Union: it brings together municipal and national authorities for improving their activities aimed at decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide emissions through bolstering green economy and raising quality of life for every citizen. Such attention to the urban environmental issues is explained by the fact that cities around the world account for approximately 80% of energy consumption and СO2 emissions.
Today, the initiative has the new name — Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. New aims were brought with the new name: earlier, the Covenant signatories were striving to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20% by 2020, and now, they are aiming at more ambitious and lofty 40% (that shoud be achieved until 2030, however). Learn more
Today, 11 Belarusian cities support the Covenant of Mayors: Beryoza, Braslav, Brest, Chausy, Glubokoe, Kobryn, Novogrudok, Oshmyany, Polotsk, Pukhovichi, and Rogachev. While Interakcia Foundation is now the Official Supporter of the Covenant of Mayors in Belarus. Learn more
A short video presentation of the Covenant of Mayors
For these ends, the Sustainable Energy Action Plan was prepared (in cooperation with EU experts) and officially adopted by Polotsk government. The documents incorporated the most progressive methods and reflected Polotsk residents’ needs.
It became a blueprint of how to expand the energy efficiency measures aimed and to introduce measures of disseminating the core principles of efficient energy use among Polotsk residents.
Sustainable Energy Action Plan is an official document adopted by local governments. Its first part provides basic analysis of CO2 emissions resulting from energy consumption in a city. The second part outlines a set of specific measures and concrete environmental and energy goals to be achieved
At the "opening" ceremony of the new LED street lamps
PARTNERS IN THE PROJECT
Overall objective: To reduce CO2 emissions, increase energy efficiency and the amount of renewable energy usage in Polotsk and Salé by fostering their adhesion to the Covenant of Mayors and improving capacities of all target groups in use of sustainable energy, as well as to create best practices for other cities of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) region.
1. To strengthen the capacities of Polotsk and Salé governments in the field of sustainable energy development and to bring their energy policies closer to the EU standards.
2. To foster the cooperation between the European Union and ENPI region, as well as between the southern and eastern countries of the ENPI region.
3. To share cutting-edge approaches to and practices of effcient energy use with other cities of the ENPRI region.
ABOUT COOPERATION IN URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND DIALOGUE (CIUDAD) PROGRAMME
CIUDAD Programme aims to help local governments in the ENPI region to enhance their capacity to plan for sustainable, integrated and long-term urban development using good governance principles. It does this through capacity building and by promoting mutual understanding, exchange of experience and cooperation between local actors in the EU and in the Partner Countries of the ENPI region in the implementation of common projects. By creating new partnerships and strengthening existing ones among local and regional authorities in the ENPI region (South-South, East-East and South-East partnerships), it also hopes to achieve long-term benefits extending beyond the life of the programme.
CONTACTS AND MORE INFORMATION
Marina Borisova, Project's Public Relations Specialist, Deputy Head of Interakcia Foundation
+ 375 29 873 35 82 (mobile); + 375 17 237 48 40 (tel./fax); firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Razhentsova, Interakcia's PR Manager
+ 375 44 758 88 15, + 375 29 509 28 48 (mobile); + 375 17 334 24 76 (tel.); email@example.com