The topic of the last day was building bridges to the future and sustainable community plans.
”100% renewable energy is not a choice, it is the only alternative”, says Anna Leidreiter from World Future Council. After showing us why non-renewable energy is not an option, Anna talked about success stories from Jämtland (Sweden), Iceland and Denmark. In Denmark community participation was key in the switch to renewable energy. Anna’s take away message was: Climate and security questions in the world are not to do with energy but rather fuel; Shift from fuel-based to infrastructure-based energy.
Next up was Michaela Hogenboom and Elias Kindle, who are working together to create a connected and sustainable Liechtenstein. Through their project they are trying to move Lichtenstein from vision to implementation in sustainability. They bring people together in Future workshops and on online platforms. As well as trying to create community engagement they also offer consultancy to policy/decision makers. They finished their session with an interactive exercise. Below is one of the flowers that was created by the participants. To find out more contact Michaela and Elias at Verein Symbiose (www.symbiose.li).
After coffee break Wolfgang Mehl (Jokkmokk Municipality/ Norrbotten Energy Agency) went on to present SEAP-PLUS. The Covenant of Mayors and Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAP) are instruments for implementing sustainable communities. Wolfgang started off by telling us about all the great work being done in Jokkmokk and then went on to explain what the Covenant of Mayors is. The Covenant of Mayors is the mainstream European movement involving local and regional authorities, voluntarily committing to increasing energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources on their territories. By their commitment, Covenant signatories aim to meet and exceed the European Union 20% CO2 reduction objective by 2020. When signing the Covenant of Mayors the municipality or council have to create a SEAP and BEI (baseline emission inventory). So far 4750 authorities have signed the Covenant of Mayors.
Jeppe Mikel Jensen (Union of Baltic cities environment and sustainable development secretariat) further explained that the Covenant of Mayors should work as a roadmap to the 2020 targets. It is a bottom-up approach (although it kind of starts as a top-down tool ?) and a way of making climate protection happen on a local level. Jeppe represents NET-COM (a supporting network on Covenant of Mayors) and he sees the network as a way for small and big cities to get together and collaborate, to exchange ideas and best practice and also to influence government.
Silva Herrmann encourages us to push our politicians into joining the Covenant of Mayors. If your municipality already has signed the Covenant of Mayors then ask your politicians what they are doing with it. A SEAP should not be a dust collector – it should be a plan of action.
Anna Hövenmark rounded up the conference and thanked everybody involved. She confirmed that JWC will be happening again next year first week in Februray (3d-6th). We’ll meet again in Jokkmokk!!!
Thank you Anna, Tiina, Silva and Wolfgang for an interesting and well-organized conference.