Project partners adelphi and the National Polish Energy Agency (KAPE) brought high-ranking representatives from the Polish and German governments together with representatives from local authorities in both countries: Jacek Mizak, Head of the Department for Sustainable Development in the Polish Environmental Ministry, Franzjosef Schafhausen, Head of the Department for International and European Climate Protection Policy at the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), Zbigniew Michniowski, Deputy City Mayor of Bielsko-Biala and President of the Polish city network "Energie Cités" and Holger Matthäus, Senator for Building and the Environment in the Hanseatic City and Masterplan municipality of Rostock, which is part of a Germany-wide scheme to achieve reductions in energy needs and CO2 neutrality by 2050.
Effective strategy through low-threshold tenders and city partnerships
The panel discussions focused on the importance of local authorities to the development of low emission economies, as well on the question of how local authorities can be further supported via funding tools and bilateral cooperation. Participants also discussed concrete measures for the funding and implementation of low-emissions strategies at the local level. Local authorities have a particularly important role to play in the fields of renewable energies, energy efficiency, sustainable mobility, city development and waste management, all of which provide real opportunities to make gains in their own development. To ensure success in this regard, Polish local authorities are particularly in need of low-threshold information on successfully implemented low-emission strategies from other local authorities. City Partnerships offer a key opportunity to achieve this, but local authorities need more support to implement such measures, as was emphasised by participants. Documentation from the panels will shortly be available here.
New manual shows paths to local climate protection
The panel discussion concluded a two-day workshop on German-Polish cooperation on low emission strategies, attended by representatives from government, local authorities and other associations from Poland and Germany. The event took place as part of the "Exploring new opportunities for the Polish-German cooperation on low emission strategies" project.
From May 2015, a manual for Polish local authorities will be available at www.low-emission-project.pl alongside other information of planned follow-up activities. The program is being supported by the BMUB with funds from the advisory assistance programme for climate protection in Middle and Eastern European, Caucasian and Central Asian countries, with technical support from BMUB and the German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA).