Project is funded by the European Union's Covenant of Mayors (COMO),
an EU initiative that involves local and regional authorities voluntarily committing to increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources in their territories. By committing to this initiative, Covenant signatories aim to meet and exceed the European Union's objective to reduce CO2 with 20% by 2020.
COMO-East is the expansion of the COMO initiative in the Eastern European, Caucasian and Central Asian countries. Its purpose is to encourage and support local authorities in beneficiary countries to achieve and implement a more sustainable local energy policy via signing up to the Covenant of Mayors, and to prepare and implement Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs).
Project partners are the municipalities of Beltsy (Republic of Moldova), Vinnytsia (Ukraine), Icherisheher (the old town of Baku, Azerbaijan) and the Frankfurt School UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance. Furthermore, the Institute of Urban Development of the Vinnytsia City Council is an associate of this project.
The objective is to assist the local authorities in the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Azerbaijan to reduce their dependency on fossil fuels, and to enable them to make contributions to climate change mitigation. In particular, the project aims to enhance their capacities towards more sustainable energy planning through the development of Baseline Emission Inventories (BEIs) and SEAPs and their partial implementation.
A SEAP is a key document that shows how a Covenant signatory will reach its commitment by 2020. It uses the results of the BEI to identify the best fields of action and opportunities for reaching the local authority's CO2 reduction target. It also defines concrete reduction measures, together with time-frames and assigned responsibilities. Signatories commit themselves to submitting their SEAPs within the year following adhesion.
The main target sectors of the SEAP are: buildings, equipment/facilities and urban transport. The SEAP may also include actions related to local electricity production and to local heating/cooling generation.
- The development of BEI's in the cities of Beltsy, Vinnytsia and Icherisheher. A BEI quantifies the amount of CO2 emitted due to energy consumption in the territory of a municipality and allows identifying the principal sources of COs emissions and their respective reduction potentials. This inventory will be the instrument allowing each municipality to measure the impacts of its actions related to climate change. It shows where the municipality was at the beginning, and the successive monitoring of emission inventories will display the progress towards set objectives. Inventories are conducted every two years to enable the cities to see the results of their efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.
- The development of SEAPs in the cities of Beltsy, Vinnytsia and Icherisheher, and their partial implementation through selected demonstration initiatives.
- Increased awareness among the general public on climate change and energy issues. This will be reached through campaigns, events and communication activities. Experiences and best practices are exchanged through regional and global networks.
For this purpose, information about the COMO-East project and the COMO initiative, as well as the BEI and SEAP documents are available on the three cities municipalities' websites.
Furthermore, each municipality will organize two thematic day events (possible themes are transport and buildings/energy). Finally, the project also includes the participation of local administration employees from each municipality in global and regional network meetings such as the Covenant of Mayors conferences.
Target groups and final beneficiaries
Target groups of this project are the local authorities of the municipalities of Beltsy, Vinnytsia and Icherisheher. Other target groups are the local population of these three municipalities and relevant stakeholders. Final beneficiaries are, again, the local authorities and the local population. For the local authorities, several benefits would arise from the development and implementation of the SEAPs, such as the expected increase in financial resources through energy savings and through the local energy production. In addition, the implementation of the SEAPs should have multiple benefits for all the inhabitants of the cities through the improvement of general well-being. Also, the implementation of this project will help in the further development of sustainable energy policies. Finally, the participation of the three cities in the COMO initiative and in the SEAP process will improve their visibility and their access to EU funds.
The project started in January 2012 and will last 36 months, ending in December 2014.
The project is funded by an EU contribution of Euro 495,000 (79.76% of the total project costs).
- Vinnytsia (Ukraine), May 2012: Inception meeting of the COMO-East project. The project focal points of the three cities, including the Mayor of Beltsy, participated in this event.
- Vinnytsia (Ukraine), May 2012: Workshop "Territorial Approach to Climate Change (TACC)-Eastern Europe and Caucasus". This was the first capacity building workshop for the development of SEAPs. The workshop addressed climate change (mitigation and adaptation measures), the financial sources to support Climate Change action and Energy Efficiency in Buildings and Sustainable Transport options and planning. Participants included representatives from the municipality of Vinnytsia and from several other municipalities in Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and Azerbaijan.
- Beltsy (Moldova), October 2012: Joint National Forum "Covenant of Mayors in the Republic of Moldova - Addressing Climate Change and Energy Issues". This Forum was a joint event between COMO-East, the municipality of Beltsy and UNEP. It had the following main objectives: to increase the Beltsy municipality's awareness on climate change, sustainable transport, sustainable building and energy efficiency issues in the Republic of Moldova and to introduce Beltsy's local authorities and possible signatories' cities to the COMO-East project. Participants included city mayors, district representatives and specialists from across Moldova.
- Baku (Azerbaijan), November 2012: Workshop "Territorial Approach to Climate Change (TACC) -Eastern Europe and Caucasus". This workshop was organized by UNEP, Icherisheher, the municipality of Baku, the Azeri National academy of Sciences, and the Institute of Oil-Chemical Processes of Azerbaijan. The workshop focused on: climate change impacts in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, mitigation and adaptation strategies, energy efficiency in buildings and sustainable transport options, and the financial resources to support climate change action. Participants were, among others, local authorities from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, and the Russian Federation, including a delegation of six mayors and representatives from city associations.
Ms. Jimena Fernandez
Associate Programme Officer
The information on this web page was put together with the financial assistance of the European Union. However, the views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union.