1st Mayors in Action national training session in Białystok, Poland

Over 100 people participated on 4th Sept. in the Mayors in Action national training session devoted to the role of local governments in the supporting the low-emission economy and sustainable energy. The meeting was organized at the registered office of the Podlasie Voivodeship Marshal's Office in Bialystok by MO and the Association of Municipalities Polish Network “Energie Cités” (PNEC).

Emphasizing the crucial role of local governments in promoting low-carbon economy in the regions the representatives of the Ministry of Economy, the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management and Polish Network "Energie Cités" explained the representatives of the local authorities how to develop and implement “Sustainable Energy Action Plans” (SEAPs).

Guests were welcomed by a board member of Podlasie Region Karol Pilecki. – “Low-carbon economy is an extremely important issue in the EU's financial perspective 2014-2020” – he convinced gathered representatives of municipalities. – “However, this depends on your creativity, whether the living conditions of residents of Podlasie Region will be improved.”

Due to the Partnerhip Agreement adopted by the by the European Commission on 23 May 2014 the new EU financial perspective the municipal low-carbon economy plans will be a prerequisite for obtaining financing for the projects in the field of energy efficiency within the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment and regional operational programmes.

Izabella Stańczak from the Ministry of Economy explained how to develop such a plan and its main components – baseline emission inventory and main sectors and fields of actions were presented by experts from PNEC team: Anna Jaskuła and Marcin Łojek. The experience from the process of SEAP implementation was shared i.a. by the representatives of Polish cities Niepołomice and Ełk.

On the other hand Maria Stankiewicz, Executive Director of the Association of Municipalities Polish Network "Energie Cités" encouraged the audience to join the "Covenant of Mayors" – the European initiative for climate protection. “It is worth doing for many reasons, including the better signatories’ access to national and European sources of financing low-carbon economy” – stressed Mrs. Stankiewicz.

The meeting was chaired by Professor Peter Banaszuk.  “High attendance in the room clearly shows that low-carbon economy is not just an empty sound, but it is important for municipalities. In Podlasie Region we buy a lot of energy. If we produce more, we could significantly reduce its costs – he cocluded.