Municipalities and schools from seven European countries kick off new climate partnership

34 municipalities from Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, Greece, Portugal and Germany have started a new climate cooperation. This cooperation is promoted by the European Climate Initiative (EUKI).

08/10/2018

Five German municipalities have officially announced their climate partnerships with five municipalities from Poland, Romania and Greece and are set to start the cooperation. These and 24 other municipalities, also from Portugal and the Czech Republic, take part in the "Bridging European and Local Climate Action" (BEACON) project, which is funded by the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) of the Federal Ministry of Environment. At the same time, 55 schools from Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Germany are also launching cooperation on the issue. The focus here is on sharing experiences regarding effective municipal energy savings and greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures and on raising awareness of climate issues in schools.

In close cooperation with local partner organisations, adelphi leads the cooperation between these 25 local authorities from the Czech Republic (Milevsko, Písek, Prachatice, Přeštice, Rožnov pod Radhoštěm), Poland (Bielawa, Ciechanowiec, Jasło, Sztum, Zamość), Romania (Alba Iulia, Buzău, Deva, Râmnicu Vâlcea, Zalau), Greece (Agios Dimitrios, Dorida, Farsala, Kalamata, Syros-Ermoupoulis) and Portugal (Ansião, Coruche, Loulé, Setúbal, Viana do Castelo), as well as nine German municipalities (Eberswalde, Arnsberg, Bielefeld, Bottrop, Donauwörth, Pirna, Ritterhude, Rosbach, Schwäbisch Hall).

Making the benefits of climate protection projects tangible and encouraging replication

Local authorities and actors are the pioneers and drivers of decarbonisation and social transformation, meaning they play a key role in achieving the EU's medium- and long-term climate targets. The BEACON project harnesses this potential by connecting ambitious German municipalities with other European partners to boost the exchange of important experiences on climate change mitigation endeavours.

The aim is to make the benefits of climate protection in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe tangible and to find imitators through the effective dissemination of good practices. This is not simply a matter of technical cooperation; bilateral and multilateral cooperation supports integration and shared understanding across Europe through personal exchange and changing perspectives on climate change mitigation.

Planning of European Climate Conferences for Local Authorities

Three of the five selected municipal climate partnerships are German-Polish (Ritterhude and Sztum, Rosbach von der Höhe and Ciechanowiec Schwäbisch Hall and Zamość). One German-Romanian partnership (Arnsberg and Alba Iulia) and one German-Greek partnership (Bottrop and Agios Dimitrios) will also be supported in the BEACON project. All municipalities participating in the project will come together for two European municipal conferences (presumably in 2019 and 2021) to present their commitment and network with others.

Another central theme of the project is the integration and education of younger generations from ten German schools as well as forty-five schools across Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. The pupils are to learn about climate protection and energy-saving measures and exchange ideas with partner schools outside of their country. School buildings will be analysed for potential savings and those working or attending school in thesebuildings will be involved in further training and implementation of the relevant measures. On the German side, schools from Eberswalde, Halle, Potsdam, Hanover and Arnsberg have  - among others - joined the project.

Furthermore, adelphi and Ecofys analyse selected national climate change mitigation policy instruments that have demonstrably and successfully contributed to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in non-emission trading sectors (transport, construction, trade and agriculture). The results will be presented at a workshop on the 10th of October at the BMU. The individual analyses can be downloaded from the EUKI website.

adelphi builds on valuable experience gained from German-Polish exchange

One of adelphi’s preceding projects, with Polish partner organisation PNEC, has already shown that trans-European municipal cooperation can delivers noteworthy results. One of many examples within the framework of the Polish-German cooperative project on low-emission economy in cities supported by the Federal Environment Agency and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) is the expansion of inner-city cycle paths in the partner municipalities of Rosbach and Ciechanowiec. The BEACON project also continues imparting technical expertise in regional workshops.

The project is carried out by a total of 11 partner organisations: adelphi, Ecofys, UfU, Energy Cities, OER, Environ, PNEC, SEVEn, NTEF Bulgaria, CRES, FCiencias.ID - ICS-ULisboa.