Empowering local communities through partnership in Meath
Community spirit has always been strong in Ireland; from pre-electrification days where farmers would help each other bring in the harvest to modern times where communities work together to create a cleaner, greener environment under such initiatives as ‘Tidy Towns’. Most recently, during Covid-19, this community spirit and willingness to help has drawn citizens together to support each other and protect the most vulnerable in society. Likewise, any energy transition and climate action must practise justice and inclusivity, to include everyone on this journey.
How Greater Manchester plans to reach carbon neutrality by 2038
The city-region of Greater Manchester is made up of ten local councils (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan) and the Mayor. Known as the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), it works together with other partners and local services on issues that affect everyone in the region, such as the environment, transport, regeneration, and attracting investment.
Tampere: engaging housing co-ops and residents in the drive towards carbon neutrality
Tampere has always pioneered sustainable technologies in Finland and is using this experience to drive forward an ambitious programme to become carbon-neutral by 2030. Due to the high levels of heating required in this cool region, the city engages a variety of stakeholders to renovate residential buildings to improve energy efficiency, among other actions. These measures are already bearing fruit and moving the city closer to achieving its goal.
How Križevci’s residents created Croatia’s first crowdfunded solar power plant
The Croatian city of Križevci is becoming a national pioneer in the fight for clean energy and against energy poverty. Located not far from the capital Zagreb in central Croatia, the municipality is home to about 21,000 people, half of whom live in the city itself and half in the surrounding rural areas. Križevci is the first Croatian city to implement a crowdfunded renewable energy project, an endeavour that has made it a beacon in the country, with many others now looking at how to replicate the success story.
Nottingham’s plan to win the race to carbon-neutrality
Nottingham is a historic English city in the East Midlands region with about 331,000 inhabitants and a wide range of sporting and cultural venues. The city and its Council have made headlines in recent years for leadership and innovation around the low-carbon and energy agendas. Building on recent successes, the City Council declared a climate and ecological emergency, and set a nationally leading target to reach sustainable carbon neutrality by 2028, 22 years before the nation-wide goal. To reach this ambitious target, the Council has been taking bold steps: it introduced a levy on workplace parking spaces to help fund the expansion of a low-carbon tram network, continues to engage citizens in a year of carbon neutral thinking and the ongoing development of their 2028 Carbon Neutral Action Plan, and is committed to planting 50,000 new trees.
Rijeka: The energy transition of Croatia’s seaport
Rijeka is Croatia’s most important seaport, and, with a population of 128,000 people, the country’s third-largest city. The city’s economy is largely dependent on shipbuilding and logistics. Selected as the European capital of culture in 2020, Rijeka is working hard on an energy transition.
Public-public partnerships and deep energy retrofits: The case of Porto Region
The metropolitan area of Porto consists of 17 municipalities in northern Portugal which are home to 1.7 million people. Its Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) from 2012, drawn up as part of its membership of the Covenant of Mayors initiative, defines its goals as follows: compared to the 2005 baseline, CO2 emissions will be reduced by 25% in 2020, while energy efficiency is expected to increase by 20%. Additionally, renewable energy sources are anticipated to grow by 30%.[i] Like many other local SEAPs, these targets go way beyond the targets set by the European Commission. In order to reach them, the 17 municipalities work together with local agencies to initiate an energy transition steered by public institutions.
Komotini’s plans for a climate-friendly future
Komotini is a municipality in north-eastern Greece with just under 60,000 inhabitants. Still recovering from the effects of the financial crisis of 2008 and dealing with the resulting financial restrictions, the municipality is now planning to take its energy supply into its own hands. With an impressive track record of active citizenship and a fruitful cooperation between the administration and residents, there are high chances that these plans will soon be put into practice.
Litoměřice: Two decades of working towards a just transition in the Czech Republic
The city of Litoměřice has for a long time been a frontrunner in the Czech energy transition. A former port town not far from Prague, which has now become a commerce and service centre, the city of some 25,000 inhabitants began its energy transition in 2000 with a subsidy scheme for solar water heaters in private homes. 20 years later, Litoměřice is becoming a climate-friendly role model for the Czech Republic and the Central European region.
New ways for the energy transition – the Viennese approach
The city of Vienna and its wholly-owned energy provider are testing a range of participatory approaches to meet the city’s decarbonisation goals. From sustainable urban planning, through geothermal engineering to blockchain technology, Vienna is contributing new ideas and sustainable solutions for the city of tomorrow.