Conference “Covenant of Mayors – European initiative for climate protection”

Konferencja_Zdj. 1. Otwarcie konferencji

Photo 1. Official opening of the conference. The speaker is Jacek Kozłowski, Voivode of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship.
Author: PNEC 

The Association of Municipalities Polish Network „Energie Cités” and the Office of the Capital City of Warsaw organised a conference entitled "Covenant of Mayors” – European initiative for climate protection.It took place on 5th of May 2011 andwas held at the Warsaw’s Palace of Culture and Science. The conference gathered nearly 100 participants - representatives of cities and municipalities from all over Poland who are interested in the issue of climate protection and sustainable energy development.

The aim of the conference was to promote the Covenant of Mayors initiative and to encourage Polish cities to actively engage in climate protection activities.

The Covenant of Mayors is an ambitious initiative of European Commission designed for all European cities and municipalities who wish to join fight against climate change and – at the same time - to improve living conditions of their citizens. By joining the Covenant mayors commit to take up actions in the field of sustainable energy management and to go beyond the objectives set by the EU for 2020 by reducing CO2 emissions by at least 20%. Until now the Covenant has been signed by over 2 500 cities, towns and villages, including 11 from Poland.

The official opening of the conference was performed by Zbigniew Michniowski, President of the Board of PNEC and Deputy Mayor of Bielsko-Biała, Jacek Wojciechowicz, Deputy Mayor of the Capital City of Warsaw, and Jacek Kozłowski, Voivode of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship. The conference consisted of two parts:

Part I. Climate policy

During the first part of the conference participants got acquainted with European and Polish climate policy. Climate policy of the European Union was presented by Jerzy Zająkała, representative of the Committee of the Regions, while Polish policy in this area was presented by Damian Jakubik, Deputy Director of the Department of Climate Change and Atmosphere Protection of the Ministry of the Environment. Afterwards Jan Rączka, President of the Board of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, described the support provided by the Fund to cities and municipalities who wish to contribute to the implementation of climate and energy package. He also answered numerous questions asked by the participants.

The first part of the conference ended with a presentation of Christophe Frering from Covenant of Mayors Office in Brussels. He presented the Covenant of Mayors initiative which was subject to more detailed consideration during the second part of the conference.
 

Part II. “Covenant of Mayors”

Second part of the conference began with a presentation of Leszek Drogosz, Director of the Department of Infrastructure of the Capital City of Warsaw, who presented the benefits that a city can gain by signing the Covenant of Mayors. It is worth to mention that Warsaw, Bielsko-Biała, Niepołomice and Łubianka are first Polish cities who have decided to join this ambitious initiative.

Konferencja_Zdj. 2. Leszek Drogosz Photo 2. Leszek Drogosz, Director of the Department of Infrastructure of the Capital City of Warsaw.
Author: D. Kubik

Konferencja_Zdj. 3. Zbigniew MichniowskiPhoto 3. Zbigniew Michniowski, President of the Board of PNEC and Deputy Mayor of Bielsko-Biała.
Author: D. Kubik

The second speaker was Marcin Idczak from European Investment Bank who presented financial facility named ELENA which is a support for the Covenant Signatories. Then Zbigniew Michniowski, President of the Board of PNEC and Deputy Mayor of Bielsko-Biała, described how to fulfill undertaken commitments in practice. Bielsko-Biała has significant experience in this area as it was the first Polish Signatory who submitted and started implementation of the Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) – a document which will allow the city to achieve Covenant’s goals. Afterwards Maria Stankiewicz, Director of PNEC office, presented the role of Supporting Structures of the Covenant as well as PNEC experiences as the first Polish organisation of this kind.

Konferencja_Zdj. 4. Stanisław NowackiPhoto 4. Stanisław Nowacki, Energy Manager, Niepołomice Municipal Council.
Author: D. Kubik

Konferencja_Zdj. 5. Marek PiorunPhoto 5. Marek Piorun, Mayor of Dzierżoniów. 
Author: D. Kubik

The conference ended with presentations of selected Polish and European signatories of the Covenant of Mayors who shared their experiences with the rest of the participants. These were: Gdynia, Niepołomice, Dzierżoniów, Dobrich (Bulgaria), Freiberg (Germany) and Viborg (Denmark). Andrij Kyrcziw, representative of the Association “Energy Efficient Municipalities of Ukraine”, spoke on behalf of Ukrainian municipalities.

Konferencja_Zdj. 6. Wystawa banerów

Photo 6. Banner exhibition entitled „Good energy”.
Author: PNE

The conference was accompanied by a banner exhibition entitled „Good energy”. The exhibition presents most interesting achievement of Polish and Ukrainian signatories of the Covenant. The exhibition was developed within the framework of the project entitled „Two countries – one energy saving programme” which was implemented by PNEC in 2010.

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