Local Partnerships for Greener Cities and Regions (GREEN PARTNERSHIPS)
Local Partnerships for Greener Cities and Regions
Local communities are key actors in addressing and implementing the goals for increased Energy Efficiency (EE) and promotion of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) which are contributing to achieving the 20/20/20 targets set by the EU. MED cities and regions have prepared their local energy strategies and action plans, but they are facing several obstacles hindering their efficient implementation. Obstacles include process and technological knowledge: - lack of capacities regarding technical knowledge and standards for selecting the leading technological options and defining stricter public procurements rules - administrative and legislative barriers, lack of innovative financing options and lack of cooperation with stakeholders which would support decision-making and implementation of selected measures. The project GREEN PARTNERSHIPS will connect cities and regions from 11 MED countries that will overcome the listed obstacles by establishing a common transnational approach with focus on creating local partnerships which will contribute to more efficient implementation of innovative EE and RES solutions leading to sustainable local and regional development. Local partnerships will connect stakeholders affected by a certain energy efficiency measure, from the owner to suppliers, potential investors, employees and final users. They will share their proposals and actively take part in their implementation. Thus long-term basis will be formed for innovative solutions based on local potentials and improved behaviour patterns leading to energy efficiency. The approach will be tested at the local level and described in the -Step-by-Step Guide for efficient implementation of local energy strategies by forming local partnerships-�. By connecting public organisations, Local Action Groups will be formed and their capacity for setting the targets and increasing cooperation with stakeholders will be increased through several workshops and training materials. The Local Action Groups will thus be empowered to operate in line with the new approach. The project activities will result in improved public policy related to energy efficiency in participating cities and regions, new investments and energy savings of up to 40 % in public facilities, increased capacity of public organisations and long-term cooperation of local partnerships for energy efficient solutions. Sustainability and transferability will be assured with financing of the investment proposals at the local level, with transfer of the operational recommendations in the Step-by-Step Guide to other MED and EU local communities, including signatories of the Covenant of Mayors, and with further functioning of the established networks for knowledge transfer at the transnational, regional and local level. Achievements: Green Partnerships started as a response to the fact that despite the plentitude of strategic development concepts and strategies addressing the need and pportunities arising from RES and EE projects implementation, there were insufficient results in the real, local or regional environment. The question raised was, what can be done? Although RES and EE projects are seen as addressing mainly technological aspects, they are also raising as many questions as giving answers in the situation where technology is advancing much faster than the environment can implement its latest achievements. It was our strong belief that RES and EE initiatives must be addressed as development opportunities in local communities and that by connecting technological and social innovations, the combination can be a strong contribution to more energy efficient cities and regions. The backbone of the project we were to develop was cooperation: as Lead Partner coming from the agricultural sector – the Institute for Agriculture and Forestry - maybe it was the historical cooperative approach that was important for the agricultural sector and is becoming a more and more popular and innovative way of connecting farmers and end users. An inclusive approach, where opinions, knowledge and different views on things matter, where people are invited to co-develop projects and development initiatives in their local or regional environments, so that they feel that they are part of the process. This does not only lead to better solutions, but also makes for easier implementation of projects due to less opposition and results are more beneficial to wider groups of stakeholders.The results are 24 implemented projects, most of which are described in the final report and all are published on the project’s website in the Results section, all benefiting from the common pool of knowledge and experience shared by the partnership network; 11 LAGs established sharing the experience of over 150 experts; 11 concrete recommendations, building on the implementation of 24 pilot cases and 22 capacity-building workshops in partner countries, for the improvement of local energy strategies; a growing knowledge platform on the project website and, most importantly, a new participatory approach in shaping our common development future. As a lasting contribution and summary of the concept used in the projectis the Step by Step Guide, on how to make use of the Green Partnerships experience to implement your own project.See more: http://www.greenpartnerships.eu/wp/wp-content/uploads/GPs_FP_Complete_FINAL.pdfDocuments• Posters of the three pilot projects implemented in Rethymno, Creece for the final Conference of Green Partnerships in Maribor, Slovenia• Capacity Building Workshops in “energy efficient public lighting” and “energy efficiency in buildings and open spaces” 4-5th May 2015, Rethymno Greece• The Green Partnerships Step-by-Step Guide• The Green Partnerships Final Publication• Overview of existing approaches implementation of energy strategies in pilot areas and Joint list of obstacles in implementation of local energy strategies• Transnational Exchanges• Expert Working Groups• Dissemination and Public Events• The project’s pilot cases results as of December 2014• The project’s local initiatives results as of June 2014• The project’s Infographic• The project’s newsletter n.2 – June 2014• The project’s newsletter n.1 – October 2013• The project’s communication plan• WP3 Joint approach• The project’s leaflet (english version)
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