EnercitEE’s Policy maker exchange – mayors from 4 European countries shared the vision of Växjö

“Europe’s greenest city” was host to more than 30 mayors from Poland, France, Italy and Germany from 30 May to 1 June 2012. Learning on the spot and sharing experiences for mayors was a premiere within the INTERREG IVC Mini-Programme EnercitEE. As EnercitEE contributes to the improvement of local and regional policies and provides assistance in the transfer of knowledge on energy efficiency and sustainable transport; the idea was born to organise a 2 ½ day study trip for mayors to learn from the City of Växjö in Smaland/Sweden which represents a shining example for climate protection. Back in 1996 politicians in the municipality decided that Växjö shall become a fossil fuel free city until 2030. Since then the city has worked successfully with environmental and climate issues and has been awarded several times for their remarkable engagement. Since the early 1990s Växjö has reduced its CO2 emissions by 34% which results nowadays in an amount of 3 t CO2/year per capita.

The overall aim of the policy maker exchange was to learn about Växjö and its vision to become fossil fuel free until 2030 and to study exemplary energy efficiency solutions in the fields of transport, heat/cooling generation and –distribution, public participation and future strategies.

Good practice examples were visited followed by a panel session discussing Växjö’s strategy and the impressions taken by the mayors. It revealed that many cities in the EnercitEE partner regions already implemented similar intelligent energy efficiency solutions like Växjö. Further it has to be said that different framework conditions for local authorities in the different countries, for example with regard to tax collection, certain energy efficiency solutions cannot be transferred similarly. Anyway the experiences and impressions gained during the trip inspired the participating mayors to further promote their own energy efficiency strategies in their home countries. Also the exchange of views and strategies especially among mayors from different European regions was well received.

More impressions from the exchange on: flickr.com