Editorial: EnercitEE seen from Brussels – Climate protection needs local action

“As delegate of the CoR Commission for Environment, Climate Change and Energy (ENVE), I am now and then approached by interest groups or regions that want to inform me about a certain issue or project. The event that was arranged by the EnercitEE project highlighted in an interesting and informative way a very important question for the committee and for me personally, namely possibilities to save energy and thereby the environment and tools to realize the potential of this. It was fascinating to see once again how cooperation between regions could breed such a number of ideas and concrete results. For me, regional and local cooperation is the key for success in the European project. EnercitEE is a very good example of that.", said Rolf Sällryd.

Policy making always starts at local level - and the European climate protection goals will only be reached if people change their daily life towards a more climate smart life style. Young energy experts from five European regions committed themselves to this objective. In order to document existing technical solutions, to collect field reports and experiences and offer guidance and counselling for citizens, the program EnercitEE was developed. The presentation of EnercitEE at the Commission for Environment, Climate Change and Energy (ENVE) as part of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) revealed impressively how the rather abstract European climate protections goals like increasing the share of renewable energies, the reduction of CO2-emissions and enhancing efficient energy consumption can be transferred into concrete local actions.

130 participants from all European regions acknowledged this with great interest. It strengthened their conviction that people all over Europe strive ambitiously and with innovative ideas to reach the joint climate protection targets. The participants will bring this experience and gained knowledge back home to their regions and thus campaign for additional commitment. In particular, the ENVE members Rolf Sällryd from Sweden and Heinz Lehmann from Germany were grateful and acknowledged that their home regions - the county of Kronoberg in Småland and Saxony were actively involved in EnercitEE and that results presented to the ENVE commission received that much interest. They appreciated EnercitEE´s imaginative and creative work on reaching the common goals. The professional and appealing presentations encouraged other CoR members to report about concrete projects from their regions in future meetings of the Commission for Environment, Climate Change and Energy. The Irish representatives already announced a presentation of practical examples from the local level in Ireland.

                                     Heinz Lehmann and Rolf Sällryd,
                                     Delegates of the Committee of the Regions