The importance of energy efficiency measures for municipalities and existing EU opportunities in this regard were discussed at the regional conference “Covenant of Mayors: joint actions in the field of climate and energy” on 13-14 December in Minsk, Belarus. The conference welcomed municipalities from the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine – and was organised by the EU-funded Covenant of Mayors – Demonstration Projects programme and Covenant of Mayors East initiative.
According to Christophe Frering, team leader of Covenant of Mayors East, the number of signatory towns for this EU-funded initiative among the Eastern Partnership municipalities increased two times in 2017, which indicates the popularity of energy efficiency and environment actions.
During the two-day conference, the participants discussed the results and achievements of cities and villages that are part of the Covenant of Mayors East initiative. They also analysed the new funding opportunities for energy efficiency projects, especially under the E5P financial instrument.
Covenant of Mayors East is a flagship EU initiative to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 20% by 2020. It helps municipalities to prepare and implement Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs), reducing their dependency on fossil fuels, improving the security of their energy supplies, and allowing them to contribute more actively to climate change mitigation.
Covenant of Mayors – Demonstration Projects (CoM-DeP) is an EU programme in the EaP countries that supports small towns that have signed up to the Covenant of Mayors initiative to implement energy efficiency projects identified within their SEAPs. The CoM-DeP support team currently provides grants to 19 selected projects, as well as technical, procedural and communication assistance.
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