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Energy Cities’ members actions highlighted in 8-year report of Covenant of Mayors

By David Donnerer on 7 December 2017

In the framework of the recently published third state of the EU Energy Union report, the EU Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) released its 8 year assessment report of the Covenant of Mayors. In this study, which provides an analysis of key data of the initiative, several good practices from Energy Cities’ members were featured.

The report "Covenant of Mayors in figures: 8-year assessment" highlights achievements of Covenant of Mayors cities, in particular relating to reducing CO2 emissions, saving energy and boosting local energy production. This new report also outlines the main policies employed by Covenant cities in their local action plans (SEAPs/SECAPs), and provides good practices from exemplary Covenant signatories.

The actions of our member cities and Covenant signatories Helsinki (Finland), Ivanic-Grad (Croatia), Stuttgart (Germany), Agueda and Vila Nova de Gaia (both Portugal) featured in the report cover a wide variety of sustainable energy and climate measures.

In the case of Helsinki, the city’s extensive district cooling system - which already covers a volume of buildings of 11.5 million m3 and results in 60 000 tons of CO2 saved annually – is described as very client-friendly, since it is absolutely silent and unobtrusive, taking up much less space in people’s premises than traditional cooling devices.

Ivanic-Grad is described as a regional pioneer in engaging its citizens in energy-saving measures. Through its involvement in the ENGAGE campaign, Ivanic-Grad motivated its inhabitants to sign a personal energy-saving pledge on a poster that shows how they are going to use less energy in their everyday behavior. 79 citizens accepted to having their energy consumption monitored as part of this action, and they provided data on their energy consumption at home and on their mobility habits. One year later, the outcome was positive: on average, the participating citizens reduced their individual CO2 emissions by 17%!

In climate adaptation, Stuttgart is featured with its climate atlas, which was developed for the Stuttgart region (covering 179 municipalities and towns) to present the distribution of temperature and cold air flows according to Stuttgart’s topography and land use. The climate atlas provided useful information to urban planners, as it showed that more open space in densely built-up areas was needed to improve the urban climate. As a result, 39% of Stuttgart’s surface area was put under nature conservation protection – a record in Germany.

As regards sustainable mobility, the efforts of Agueda in promoting electric biking are featured. This Portuguese municipality implemented a free e-bike scheme for its citizens, which included an intelligent monitoring system that enabled the scheme’s manager to identify in real time which bicycles were available, when they were used and who was riding them. Finally, in the area of buildings, Vila Nova de Gaia’s progressive municipal building regulation is highlighted. Vila Nova de Gaia’s building code aims to boost sustainable and environmentally-friendly construction. For this purpose, it rewards those who opt for a sustainable construction certification with a full or partial tax reduction.

©photos: Camara de Agueda – city of Helsinki – Hieronymus shutterstock – Andreas-Zerndl-shutterstock – Petr Adam Dohnálek CC BY-SA 3.0 cz via Wikimedia Commons

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