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Local energy forums in Polish municipalities

15 September 2014
Uczestnicy lokalnego forum w Jaśle
Participants of local forum in Jasło

Mobilization of local society around common energy goals is very important for successful implementation of local energy policy, including the development and implementation of Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP). Therefore it is of crucial importance to actively involve citizens and local stakeholders in the SEAP process. By local stakeholders we mean those people and entities whose interests are affected by this process or whose activities can support achievement of the targets set up in the SEAP. There are various ways of mobilizing local society – one of them is organisation of local energy forums enabling fruitful discussion on the local energy situation and possibilities of improving it.

Such meetings were organised from May to September 2014 in 4 Polish municipalities participating in the MESHARTILITY project:

  • in Bydgoszcz on the 15th of May 2014
  • in Częstochowa on the 30th of May 2014
  • in Jasło on the 24th of June 2014
  • in Dąbrowa Górnicza on 11th of September 2014

All four municipalities are very active in the field of sustainable energy and for many years have been engaging in different energy projects. Bydgoszcz, Częstochowa and Dąbrowa Górnicza are also signatories of the Covenant of Mayors – European initiative involving cities and municipalities in climate protection. Bydgoszcz joined the Covenant in 2011 and Częstochowa and Dąbrowa Górnicza in 2012 – all three of them committing to reduce their CO2 emissions by at least 20% by 2020, compared to the selected baseline year. All three municipalities already prepared and formally adopted their Sustainable Energy Action Plans which will help them to achieve this ambitious target. Also Jasło is engaged in many sustainable energy initiatives and is preparing for the development of its SEAP.

Different groups of local stakeholders were invited to take part in the forums, including representatives of different municipal departments, energy utilities, public institutions, housing cooperatives, transport companies, schools, NGOs and local media.

All four local energy forums were opened by the Mayors of hosting municipalities, who welcomed the guests and shortly presented local energy policy and current activities and projects aiming at increasing energy efficiency and RES use. Next, following topics were raised and discussed:

  • Covenant of Mayors initiative – rationale behind, objectives, commitments of Covenant signatories, benefits resulting from joining the Covenant, etc.
  • Sustainable Energy Action Plan – what is a SEAP, why is it being prepared, what are the rules for the development of a local baseline emission inventory (BEI) and a SEAP?
  • Actions envisaged in the Sustainable Energy Action Plan developed by the municipality organizing the forum.
  • SWOT analysis concerning local energy situation – the analysis aimed at showing strengths and weaknesses of the municipality in this area, as well as external opportunities and threats influencing the energy situation of the municipality.
  • Role of local stakeholders in the development and implementation of local sustainable energy strategy.
  • Monitoring of implementation of the SEAP.
Prezentacja Planu działań na rzecz zrównoważonej energii dla Miasta Bydgoszcz
Prezentacja Planu działań na rzecz
zrównoważonej energii dla
Miasta Bydgoszcz

Local energy forums organised in Bydgoszcz, Częstochowa, Dąbrowa Górnicza and Jasło were an opportunity to listen to inspiring presentations, to learn about the energy policy of local authorities, to assess planned actions and to determine the directions of further cooperation between local self-government and local stakeholders. Each meeting ended with a discussion, during which forum participants had a chance to express their opinion about local energy situation and possibilities of improving it, as well as to exchange experiences, views and ideas with representatives of local authorities and other groups of stakeholders. Below you may find some pictures from the events.

Bydgoszcz

Częstochowa

Jasło

Dąbrowa Górnicza

 

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