CoME EASY News

Lausanne's Energy Delegate Georges Ohana shares his view on the CoME EASY tools

CoME EASY combines the methodology of the European Energy Award (eea) with the European Commission's Covenant of Mayors (CoM) initiative, among others, to provide more targeted support to municipalities on their way towards sustainable and cross-sectoral energy and climate policies. The project has developed tools that leverage the strengths of the two initiatives for municipalities at the lowest possible additional effort. One of the project's Ambassador Municipalities that have already tested these tools is the Swiss city of Lausanne which is committed to both, the eea and the CoM. In an interview, Georges Ohana, Lausanne's energy delegate, shares his experiences with the new CoME EASY tools and evaluates their benefits for committed local authorities.

CoME EASY Newsletter #4

Focus on one tool of the CoME EASY supportive package: The Mitigation Calculator

The mitigation tool is an instrument that enables you to plan your energy reduction goals, sketch your energy reduction plan or simply estimate the effect of a set or isolated mitigation action. The mitigation tool is designed with focus on the limited resources of decision makers and their need to identify potentials quickly. It provides tailored estimations of

  • energy savings,
  • CO2 savings,
  • RES production,
  • as well as the investment costs respectively costs per reduced energy consumption amount (e.g. €/MWh).

This allows decision makers to quickly compare different mitigation interventions and assess their suitability for the local questions. The interventions are grouped by the applicable key action category (municipal buildings, public lighting, etc.) according to the Covenant of Mayor’s SECAP (Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan). Possible savings are estimated from data given in the SECAP baseline emission inventory (BEI). Standardized parameters are provided by the tool or can be adapted to local conditions by experienced users.

The results support the calculations necessary to fill in the "mitigation action"-sheet in the frame of the SECAP. The goal of the mitigation tool is to provide help during the planning phase of local energy and climate actions. It allows a better feeling for the action’s effects, its leverage on a municipality’s energy consumption and the costs of possible mitigation actions. Finally, the tool allows you to compare the effects and costs of different actions and puts them in relation to each other, thus facilitating prioritisation. The tool doesn’t render professional planning of single interventions unnecessary.

Survey on the future of the Covenant of Mayors – Europe

2020 stands out as a peculiar year for Europe. It is indeed a key moment as the EU should evaluate whether we are on track to achieve the 20% GHG emission reduction target set for 2020 over a decade ago. To keep moving ahead, the European Commission recently adopted the European Green Deal, an ambitious roadmap which aims at increasing our common climate goals for 2030 and paving the way to a ‘climate-neutral Europe’ by 2050. Today, the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting us all. Cities and regions are at the frontline of the fight against the virus, and need to rethink their economies, infrastructures and response systems while accelerating the transition towards clean energy and climate neutrality.

In this particular time, the Covenant of Mayors conducts a survey that aims at collecting the views of local and regional authorities on the future of the initiative, whether they are already involved in the Covenant of Mayors - Europe or not. Filling in this survey should require less than 15 minutes. The survey is available at https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/CoM-EuropeSurvey2020

CoME EASY statement on COVID-19

Let’s learn from the COVID-19 crisis and leverage the present potential to accelerate effective energy and climate action

Without any doubt, COVID-19 has unleashed a global crisis that threatens the health and lives of people all over the world, destabilises economies and confronts people with existential fears, insecurity and many far-reaching and substantial consequences. It represents an unprecedented challenge that requires international, national, regional and local political decision-makers to take pro-active, wise and effective decisions to limit the potential damage and induce appropriate measures to put the world, which has slipped out of step, back on track. Despite all the negative effects of the COVID-19 crisis, there is at the same time a potential for reinforcing and accelerating positive change and innovation that are urgently needed to prevent the world from being plunged into a further and even more threatening global crisis, i.e. climate change with its dramatic consequences.

The crisis’ potential

Global containment measures to halt the spread of the coronavirus made it necessary to change the usual and accustomed routines and procedures and adapt to the unusual circumstances. This need for rapid adaptation affected the behaviour of individuals as well as that of companies, organisations and governments. The crisis created an environment that disrupted usual policies and social norms, weakened strong and long-lasting boundaries and required the flexibility of previously fixed patterns. While under normal circumstances the willingness to change and enter new paths has to be considered limited, this moment of crisis shifted dynamics dramatically: It has showed what really matters and has taken everyone into the responsibility to contribute to his own well-being and that of his fellow citizens. And the resulting modifications already show positive effects and allow a glimpse into possible impacts of global commitment to climate change mitigation.  

Get CoME EASY support to leverage the present opportunities

Let’s turn this crisis into an opportunity and leverage the currently tremendous potential for change to accelerate the fight against global warming. CoME EASY supports local authorities in seizing this chance for the implementation of effective energy and climate policies to contribute to a more sustainable global development. The following examples show good, proactive responses of local authorities to COVID-19. 

Good examples of rapid and proactive responses of European cities to the COVID-19 emergency situation

Florence’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Many cities across the EU like Florence are now facing a social and economic emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but are at the same time the key for a sustainable and green recovery in Europe. Dario Nardella, the Mayor of Florence, thinks that from this crisis could also rise an opportunity:” It’s not only time for emergency aid. It’s also time to rethink things to build back better. Instead of turning off the lights in my city, because of the financial costs of the crisis, I want cities to light the way.”

How is Florence shaping the ‘new normal’ as a new beginning? The city is adapting its strategies to new challenges taking into account also external impacts of public policies. For example, regarding sustainable mobility, as described in a recent webinar (slides available at https://replicate-project.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Webinar-Response-to-Covid19_FLORENCE_FINAL.pdf ) Florence has exploited its Smart City control room to support the sustainable management of the city in the different emergency phases: from the lockdown impacts analysis to traffic and air quality and up to the forecast on mobility in the third phase, which will support companies in their choices about flexible working hours next autumn. In parallel, beside existing infrastructures and the optimization of public transport, additional car & bike (traditional and electric) sharing fleets will be tendered and new bike lanes tested with emergency plans to be integrated into the network.

The new Apps about mobility choices (IF – Infomobility Florence), sustainable behaviors (Goal green) and tourism management (Feel Florence) have been adapted and promoted in the last period.

Free public spaces have been offered to bars and restaurants and green areas enriched with new trees (partially donated by citizens) while a new participation plan for green spaces and parks is under development.

Crowdfunding has been activated to support people in need and additional financial support to the national incentives program is in place, also through agreements with financial institutions and technology providers or tax discounts, to support energy efficiency and domestic comfort. A co-created plan is under development to boost the renaissance of the city: feedbacks and ideas are collected at www.comune.fi.it/rinascefirenze.

Despite the crisis, the sustainable targets of the city haven’t changed but even become more ambitious. For the Mayor “cities have to enhance existing cooperation across borders all over Europe, to learn from each other and share best practices inspiring national and European politics to become more resilient and implement a sustainable & green recovery.”

The Swiss City of Wil’s bicycle delivery launched earlier to support businesses and citizens during the COVID-19 emergency situation

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting temporary shut-down of shops and restaurants in a multitude of countries around the world, many businesses are currently struggling to survive. Even after an initial easing of restrictions, many citizens are still staying away from re-opened shops. This poses two key challenges, namely the precarious economic situation of many businesses and the challenge for citizens to provide for themselves without physically entering shops.

The Swiss eea City of Wil has come up with a solution that supports the local economy and at the same time helps citizens who do not want to expose themselves to the still existing risk of infection: It offers a bicycle delivery service for local shops and currently covers two-thirds of the costs of deliveries. Customers can place their orders by phone, e-mail or in an online shop, and the shops can make the attractive offer of delivering the ordered goods by bicycle. This environmentally friendly response to the current emergency is also aimed at reducing motorised private transport and thus mitigating climate change.

This climate protection aspect of the bicycle delivery service was a major motivation for the project, which was initiated before the outbreak of the global pandemic and was originally planned to be launched next year.

In the future, an app will be at the heart of the city's bicycle delivery service: customers will drop off their bags at the store and activate the delivery themselves directly via the app. Even after the Covid19-related emergency situation has been alleviated, the delivery service will continue to enable the citizens of Wil to shop conveniently and car-free in local stores. The app is currently under development and is scheduled for launch in spring 2021. 

Emergency bicycle plan – Bordeaux Métropole

The lockdown being progressively lifted, an increased number of bicycle users is expected. Therefore Bordeaux Métropole has developed an emergency bicycle plan.

The Local Authority has seized the opportunity of reduced traffic to upgrade existing bicycle lanes and create massively temporary bus and bicycle lanes and also to suppress interruptions of these lanes.

No less than 78 km of new lanes have been created, out of which 23 km in the city of Bordeaux - an unprecedented achievement in size and mobility development rapidity. This will significantly increase the safety of using bicycles for daily mobility and cause congestions in car traffic making cars less attractive in town. 

Numerous further actions are also planned: 1000 new bicycle parking places, strongly increased number of bicycles with electrical assistance, double budget for purchasing new bicycles with electrical assistance, acceptance of new private offers on extended areas, 1000 new bicycles set at the disposal of students, etc. 

And some food for thought: the Bordeaux 20% goals for 2020 for energy reductions and GHG have been approached or even reached during the COVID-19 lockdown! This gives an idea of the magnitude of the effort that is required.

Smart solutions for public lighting in Cluj-Napoca

During the COVID-19 crisis, cities were looking for smart solutions that can be carried remotely for reducing electric consumption for public lighting. The public lighting is designed based on the assumption of the highest car traffic flow, but during lockdown the value has diminished a lot.

The city of Cluj-Napoca, which has a telemanagement of the public lighting on the main road, based on the low values of traffic flow for cars and pedestrian and the low ambient luminosity, has declassified the streets from M3 to M4, which led to an energy reduction of 33%.

 

CoME EASY Newsletter #3

CoME EASY Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

The CoME EASY project aims at bringing the most popular, suitable and compatible EU initiatives in the field of sustainable energy and climate policies on local levels together by synthesizing, simplifying and strengthening their elements to successfully involve European cities and municipalities of all sizes in the common fight against global warming.

In order to be compliant with the Key Performance Indicators of all initiatives in the field of sustainable energy and climate policies that are involved in the project, which are EEA the eea, the Covenant of Mayors, ISO standards 50’001 and 37’120 and the Smartcities Information System SCIS), CoME EASY defined a KPIs database that is aligned with their differing requirements. The CoME EASY KPIs database hence creates a connecting intersection that is exportable, can be used as gateway to enter multiple commitment and facilitates benchmarking.

The project KPIs set has been defined in accordance with the related open tools requirements, taking into account services, functionalities and interactions with the other CoME EASY tools under development. The database will be made publicly available on the Open Platform.

The Open Platform will provide several further supporting tools for calculation as well as a visualisation dashboard for benchmarking as essential components of the project’s synthetizing objectives.

All Ambassador Municipalities that are involved in the project are currently testing and evaluating the tools, including the KPIs set with the technical support of their eea advisors. Based on their feedbacks about the applicability and the additional values of the project tools, the project will provide the final set of KPIs, with the uploading interface for calculation and the visualisation dashboard as well as the tool guide for training sessions.

In addition to the differing initiatives involved in the CoME EASY project, a further central reference point was consulted in the selection of the project’s KPIs set in order to guarantee compliance with its indicators system: The UN Sustainable Development Goals. While energy is the main field of interest of the project activity, CoME EASY still follows a holistic and integrated approach including many other issues linked with the sustainable and smart vision. Hence the selection of the KPIs set also contains indicators that exceed a mere energy reference in the sense of the smart vision and the UN SDGs and takes into account a more inclusive perspective on sustainable development.

The following SDGs can be influenced by the CoME EASY project and the combined forces of the involved initiatives:

SDG1 – No poverty
SDG 7 – Affordable and clean energy
SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth
SDG 9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 13 – Climate action
SDG 16 – Peace, justice and strong institutions
SDG 17 – Partnership for the goals

Covenant of Mayors' Investment Forum – Energy Efficiency Finance Market - 18/19 February 2020

The European Commission's Directorate-Generals for Energy, Climate Action and the Executive Agency for Small and medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) in collaboration with the Covenant of Mayors are organising the Covenant of Mayors' Investment Forum – Energy Efficiency Finance Market Place in Brussels on 18 - 19 February 2020 http://ec.europa.eu/easme.

The event is expected to bring together around 500 stakeholders from public authorities, business and financial institutions. The objective is to showcase concrete and successful examples on innovative sustainable energy planning, financing climate action and sustainable energy measures in order to trigger replication amongst local and regional public authorities.

These projects will be presented in parallel sessions around the following thematic strands:

  • Innovative sustainable energy planning
  • Financing clean urban mobility
  • Financing energy efficiency in public sector
  • Financing home renovation
  • Financing energy efficiency – sources of value
  • Future-proof investments – financing climate adaptation

CoME EASY was identified as a flagship project on innovative sustainable energy planning and will have a presentation.

All interested stakeholders can attend this event.

European Parliament

In May 2019, the European Union welcomed a new political class, a change to which many Europeans looked up to with hope. With it came a new configuration of the political groups in the European Parliament (EP), with The Greens finally occupying a fourth place, by size. This marks an unmistakable growth in the interest toward environmental causes, which cannot but be good news for us all. During elections, the younger generation, in particular, expressed high support for the Greens, especially in Western and Northern Europe.  But The Greens are not the only green ambassadors in the EU.

In 1976, the architect and industrial analyst, Walter Stahel, envisioned the huge potential of circular economy for creating jobs, saving resources, preventing waste generation and creating the perfect ground for a healthy business environment, in a report he sent to the European Commission on ‘The Potential for Substituting Manpower for Energy’. In their call for action, some politicians said the EU should aim at achieving a zero-carbon target by 2050 with the help of an European Climate Bank that is supposed to finance the transition to a circular economy.

The environment, now more than ever, needs our help and awareness, as it faces unprecedented challenges. Most of the problems we are called to solve now have been generated by the previous generation. However, the biggest challenge is to correct our behaviour so that we do not create similar burdens for the next generation as well. We need to become aware, at all levels, of the effects that our civilization excerpts over nature and try to mitigate the risks as much as possible.

Climate Change

Climate change is perhaps one of the greatest challenges of our time. Not only is it almost impossible to reverse the course of global warming, but managing its effects is just as difficult. At this moment, this global warming crisis is in its nascent form, which is why the international community still allows itself to ignore its effects or even to question its existence. While increasingly more political figures have begun to advocate for measures to curb climate change, other politicians have irresponsibly chosen to ignore the need for such measures.

Fortunately, the European Union has chosen to become a leader in the fight against climate change, by setting ambitious targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and 2050, respectively. These objectives will be supported by a series of measures. which will be implemented in the following years in all Member States (MS). These measures will imply both legislative changes, as well as financial support for MS, in order to facilitate the transition toward a low carbon economy. In this regard, the European Union has enacted various financing mechanisms to support environment friendly initiative, that have the potential to bring a positive change in the host countries. These mechanisms also helped creating bridges between various actors across the EU, enabling them to join forces together and find solutions that can be replicated throughout Europe.  Climate change is a real challenge and people around the world should not cease finding ways to mitigate its effects before it is too late. As a result of Climate Change strikes, Italy introduced Climate Change in school curricula and some cities have now a dedicated Climate Change department.

Europe to strive for more by being the first climate-neutral continent

The new President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, cited climate policy as the most pressing issue facing her new executive team, which was officially confirmed by a vote in the European Parliament on November 27th, 2019.

EU lawmakers confirmed von der Leyen as European Commission president along with her new team of 26 Commissioners, with 461 voting in favour, 157 against and 89 abstentions. And the climate crisis featured at the top of her address to MEPs.

“We don’t have a moment to waste any more on fighting climate change,” von der Leyen told the assembly.

With regard to the political guidelines for the new European Commission of 2019-2024, she stated: “These Political Guidelines draw on the common ideas and priorities that unite us. They are not an exhaustive work programme but rather aim to frame our common work. Within each chapter you will find the policies I intend to use to help us deliver on our goals. The Political Guidelines focus on six headline ambitions for Europe over the next five years and well beyond: 

  • A European Green Deal 
  • An economy that works for people 
  • A Europe fit for the digital age 
  • Protecting our European way of life 
  • A stronger Europe in the world 
  • A new push for European democracy” 

“I want the European Green Deal to become Europe’s hallmark,” said European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen, as she tasked her second-in-command with overseeing Europe’s goal of achieving climate neutrality by mid-century. But for von der Leyen, climate policy is about much more than protecting the environment or tackling air pollution. It’s also chiefly an economic policy.

“The European Green Deal is our new growth strategy,” she said. “The faster Europe moves, the greater the advantage will be for our citizens, our competitiveness and our prosperity.”

The centrepiece of the European Green Deal will be a climate law that von der Leyen said will be tabled within the first 100 days of the new Commission taking office. And the ambition

has already been spelled out: the bill will contain a legal requirement for Europe to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. She also added that any new EU trade deals would include clauses protecting the environment, and that the European Investment Bank would become the bloc’s climate transition bank.

“It is a generational transition towards climate neutrality by mid-century. But this transition must be just and inclusive – or it will not happen at all,” she warned.

55% carbon reduction target by 2030

Von der Leyen has pledged to increase the EU’s climate target from a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 to a 50-55% cut by the same date – the higher target being subject to a cost-benefit analysis due in 2021.

eea Club Event on the European Green Deal

The Association eea, like the CoME EASY project, continuously encourages exchange and cooperation on sustainable energy and climate action of different countries, stakeholders and initiatives at EU, national and local level. One regular event to strengthen this network and discuss current topics is the European Energy Award Club Event in Brussels.

On 21 November, the eea Club Event 2019 took place at the Permanent Representation of Luxembourg to the EU. Key speakers of the event were the Luxembourg Member of Parliament Tilly Metz from the Group of Greens and Dr. Tilmann Stottele, representative of the eea Gold city of Friedrichshafen, Germany. The speakers and participants exchanged thoughts on 'The role of local authorities in a European Green Deal'.
All agreed that the European Green Deal needs to be taken seriously and should not just be a new formulation for 'business-as-usual' EU climate policy. Significant amounts of the EU budget should be used for climate protection and the fostering of a clean economy. The local authorities have an important scope of action in this, through their own municipal infrastructure and their own budget, but also through their close proximity to the citizens. The eea Gold city of Friedrichshafen has already set itself ambitious climate goals (zero CO2 emissions by 2040 for municipal infrastructure and companies) and wishes to see clear and unambiguous targets and measurable indicators at EU level as well. In line with the objectives of the H2020 CoME EASY project is the wish of the city of Friedrichshafen to the EU to ensure the compatibility of strong climate policy instruments like eea, Covenant of Mayors and e.g. a future Climate Pact.

CoME EASY Newsletter #2

European cooperation between the Covenant of Mayors (CoM) and the European Energy Award (EEA) sealed by a Memorandum of Understanding

The MoU establishes bilateral cooperation between EEA and CoM-Europe in order to maximise synergies and complementarities between the two initiatives while minimising dual processes. Both agree on greater collaboration and mutual recognition of their respective processes and achievements. The parties intend to give strong visibility to their partnership. The MoU was signed by Gilbert Theato and Helmut Strasser, board members of Association European Energy Award AISBL and by Julije Domac, for the Covenant of Mayors Europe. With its mission to create tools that bridge the gap between EEA, CoM and other initiatives, the CoME EASY project represents a first important step towards joining forces.

CoME EASY was present at the EUSEW 2019

On June 19th, 2019, a session on ‘Local authorities as drivers to address climate change’ was moderated at the EU Sustainable Energy Week EUSEW by Charlotte Spoerndli, head of the EEA AISBL, in Brussels.

CoME EASY was saluted as a project helping several initiatives to synchronise their benefits and requirements, thus supporting local authorities to engage in several initiatives such as CoM and EEA and thereby improve their energy and climate performances, including both measures to mitigate as well as to adapt to climate change.

The Smart City Guidance Package: book available online

A Roadmap for Integrated Planning and Implementation of Smart City projects

Energy efficiency and strategic collaboration with local partners, supported by ICT tools to improve the quality of life of European citizens, take a long-term perspective on the built environment: these are the key elements of the sustainable city of the future identified by the 'Smart City Guidance Package' (SCGP) launched by the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC) at the European Union Sustainable Energy Week #EUSEW19.

The Guide published by EIP-SCC takes its cue from the 17 sustainable development objectives for 2030 set by the UN  and proposes a seven-step roadmap to support stakeholders in the integrated, cross-sectoral planning and implementation of innovation projects, synergies and strategies for the smart city.

Judith Borsboom-van Beurden, main author of the publication “The Smart City Guidance Package” offers inspiration and guides city administrations and urban stakeholders by bundling experiences and best practices of cities working on ambitious smart city strategies and projects. It provides insight into obstacles frequently met during implementation and explores what it takes to scale up and replicate them. Its final aim is to support building a community around the core of the development, implementation and replication of smart city plans and projects, to capture the collective intelligence that has been built up in recent years. In this way, it helps to prepare the next generation of smart city projects and to involve new cities and urban stakeholders within and outside the EIP-SCC.

Bernard Gindroz, representing CEN/CENELEC/etsi and eea, highlighted how the roadmap for integrated planning and implementation is fully aligned with ISO standards in this field, which are explicitly mentioned for every step, and how standardisation can support the smart and sustainable development of cities.

Many CoME Easy members have contributed to this book.

The Smart City Guidance Package can be downloaded as pdf here:

News on the CoME EASY project

Release of the first CoME EASY tools

New synchronizing CoME EASY tools have been developed, building upon the identified compatibilities and mutually reinforcing merits of divers initiatives. The tools have been embedded as additional features into the eea Management Tool EMT and are the following: 

  • - The Emission Path Tool (EPT), a set of closely related tools, including the Baseline and Monitoring Emission Inventory (BEI/MEI) according to the CoM methodology and a scenario calculator.
  • - The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Dashboard for benchmarking, compliant with the main systems in use at EU level. 
  • - A Best Practice Library to provide best practices from involved cities and from interesting networks for incitement and replication.

Testing the new tools with the support of our Ambassadors
The 18 CoME EASY Ambassador Municipalities of 7 European countries will now test the new tools and methods to create their SECAP or to upgrade their SEAP into a SECAP with EU2030 targets. Besides renewing their energy policy based on real data with ambitious targets, they will provide valuable inputs to our project in of their added value, applicability and user-friendliness. Each Ambassador Municipality will share three of its best practices.
 

CoME EASY partners will develop a new eea area on climate change adaptation
Due to the increasing relevance of climate change adaptation measures for local authorities to complement mitigation measures, the CoME EASY project is developing a new seventh eea chapter that will explicitly address the need of communities to adapt to climate change effects and build resilience. This new chapter will also close a gap in the international landscape of energy and climate policy management initiatives, all of which have so far mainly focused on mitigation measures to be implemented on local levels.

CoME EASY Newsletter #1

Welcome to the CoME EASY Newsletter!

 

The project CoME EASY offers an all-inclusive, effective and easy-to-apply package of supportive tools that pave the way for local authorities to unite and synthesize the benefits, strengths and unique features of internationally and nationally recognized energy efficiency and climate policy management approaches. Requirements from initiatives such as Covenant of Mayors, European Energy Awards, ISO, Smart City will be tuned up and harmonised in order to strengthen the municipal commitment to EU targets and to enhance synergies. Through the project’s supportive tools municipalities can achieve better results with less effort and improve their local energy efficiency and climate policy.

The project is funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and carried out by an international consortium involving all national managing structures of the EEA, expert teams and 18 Ambassador Municipalities. The Ambassadors will apply, test and evaluate the project’s outputs in order to build the ground for other European municipalities to join CoME EASY in the roll-out phase.

The CoME EASY Newsletter will be a biannual communication with information about the project development, the municipalities involved and relevant energy and climate issues.

The 2018 UN Climate Change Conference COP24 in Katowice

This year’s UN Climate Change Conference COP24 was organized in Katowice, Poland, between December 2nd-15th.

Aiming at adopting a Paris “work programme”, a detailed set of rules and guidelines on how nations must monitor and report the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement, representatives of nearly 200 nations tenaciously struggled for two weeks to find a common solution. In the end, they have agreed on a set of resolutions and provided a foundation that will bring forward and reinforce the implementation of climate action worldwide. Acknowledging IPCC’s recent special report – which outlines the urgency and calls for increased efforts to prevent surpassing the 1.5°C warming threshold (compared to pre-industrial levels) to avoid catastrophic effects on the environment – the climate conference demands action to mitigate climate change as well as to strengthen resilience and adapt to the manifold effects of global warming. 

The EU climate policy, based on the EU Adaptation Strategy, adopted in 2013, highlights the importance of adaptability. Ahead of COP24, the European Commission published an evaluation of the Adaptation Strategy that provides insightful information on the progress recorded. The analysis highlights achieved successes, but also shows how Europe is still vulnerable to effects of global warming. It concludes that adapting to climate change effects is more urgent than anticipated in the EU Strategy and proposes areas where more effort has to be invested. More information at:
https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/adaptation/what_en

 

The CoME EASY Ambassador Municipalities

Municipalities are the main target of the CoME EASY project, with the ultimate objective to facilitate their commitment to an increasingly sustainable energy and climate policy according to EU objectives. Within the project, 18 selected Ambassador Municipalities that are already involved in the EEA program are taking a key role: they are asked to implement and test the new CoME EASY tools that bring together different requirements and strengths for a set of initiatives that will facilitate the multi-application of these initiatives by municipalities, with the goal of improving local energy and climate policies. They have been selected for being frontrunners in their regions and, as role models, sharing their experiences in using the CoME EASY tools with peer municipalities. The Ambassadors are of different sizes, have different characteristics and are spread across seven European countries:

Austria: Dornbirn, Feldkirch, Klagenfurt
France: Ville de Besançon, Grand Besançon, Brest Métropole, Vienne Condrieu Agglomération
Germany: Lörrach, Ludwigsburg
Italy: Firenze, Merano, Montaione
Luxemburg: Beckerich
Romania: Iași, Vama Buzăului
Switzerland: Lausanne, Lumino, St. Gallen

The final CoME EASY tools and the Ambassadors’ experiences will be transferred to other municipalities during the project roll-out phase and made available to contribute to more efficient and successful implementations of energy and climate policies on local level, according to the EU 2030 targets.

 

EEA gold cities (re)awarded during Annual EEA Event in the Austrian City of Baden

On November 5th, 2018,  EEA municipalities from all over Europe have been (re)awarded the European Energy Award Gold during this year’s Annual EEA Event in the Austrian City of Baden. The European Energy Award Gold is the highest award given to cities and municipalities that are continuously committed to the efficient use of energy, renewable energies and climate protection at European level and has to be confirmed every four years. It is awarded to municipalities that meet particularly high standards with regard to sustainable energy and climate policy and succeeded in implementing at least 75% of measures within their respective scope of action.
A high percentage of the CoME EASY Ambassador Municipalities at the same time are EEA Gold municipalities, having shown their long-term commitment to sustainable and responsible energy and climate policies and thus being certified role models for other dedicated cities. Among this year’s (re)awarded cities were Dornbirn (AT), Ludwigsburg (DE), Lausanne and Lumino (both CH). Other Gold-labelled Ambassadors, having been (re)awarded in the previous years, are Feldkirch (AT), St. Gallen (CH), Lörrach (DE), Besançon (FR), Montaione (IT) and Beckerich (LU) . More information at: www.european-energy-award.org/eea-gold-municipalities/

Save the date for the 2019 Covenant of Mayors Investment Forum

The 2019 Covenant of Mayors Investment Forum: Energy Efficiency Finance Market Place will take place in Brussels on February 19th-20th, 2019. The conference, organized by the European Commission, will include plenary sessions with high-level representatives from the Covenant of Mayors initiative, the investment community, and the European Commission. The event will be an opportunity to discuss innovative financing solutions and key success factors for financing sustainable energy and climate measures such as climate adaptation, clean urban transport, energy efficiency in the public sector and home renovation.
The conference will bring together cities, industry and financial institutions to exchange on good practices and successful solutions to common challenges and will be a good opportunity for engaged cities to expand their knowledge of financing models. More information at:

https://www.eumayors.eu/news-and-events/events/upcoming-events/2077-covenant-of-mayors-investment-forum-energy-efficiency-finance-market-place.html