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Developing Local Plans for Climate Mitigation by 2020 (CLIM-LOCAL2020)
Start date: Jan 1, 2009, End date: Jun 30, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Background At the European Council of March 2007, the EU agreed – within the context of international negotiations carried out under the auspices of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol – to a 30% target for reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2020 compared with 1990. EU leaders further agreed to an internal EU target to reduce GHG emissions by at least 20% by 2020. However, these targets are far from being met. Greece is among those Member States where emissions are increasing (approximately 25% from 1990) and projections show an increase of 42% by 2015 in a ‘business as usual’ scenario. As a result, Greece will face severe difficulties in its efforts to achieve ambitious reduction targets within the framework of EU targets. Apart from actions related to large industrial emitters, which are covered to a large extent by the Emissions Trading Directive, a large part of the remaining effort will inevitably fall on the large number of small emitters. A major challenge towards sustainable development and climate change mitigation will be to stimulate the local potential for GHG emissions reductions through a set of systematic, well-designed and monitored activities. Objectives The goal of the CLIM-LOCAL2020 project was to implement climate change mitigation actions at the local level in the municipality of Volos. Specific objectives included developing a systematic approach and tools to enable local authorities to substantially reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; developing appropriate monitoring and assessment activities related to GHG emissions reduction at local level; identifying the main barriers faced at local level when taking measures to reduce GHG emissions; and promoting awareness, and providing training and information on climate change and its mitigation, to enable the active participation of citizens and local stakeholders in mitigation efforts. Results The CLIM-LOCAL2020 project facilitated the active participation of local authorities in global and national efforts for climate protection, through the development of tools, plans and awareness-raising materials. In particular, the project developed a set of user-friendly tools for the calculation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and basic air pollutants per emission source at local level; a local GHG emissions inventory; tools for the projection of GHG emissions at local level up to 2020; methodologies for assessing the emissions reduction potential of measures; and a calculation tool for undertaking cost-benefit analyses of GHG emissions reduction measures, including environmental externalities. The project was implemented in the city of Volos, where the municipality of Volos collaborated with the Municipal Enterprise for Water Supply and Sewage Treatment and Discharge in the greater Volos Area (DEYAMV), the Volos Development Company (ANEVO) and the private consulting firm Environmental Planning, Engineering and Management (EPEM). The project team developed a Local Action Plan (LAP) for drastic and long-term GHG emissions reductions. In total, the implementation of the actions and measures described in the LAP were calculated as eventually leading to 7% GHG emissions reduction at local level by 2020 compared to the emissions of 2007 (about 70 000 tonnes CO2 eq.). The project published a set of practical guidelines for implementing the measures, a monitoring plan and relevant indices for evaluating the progress of the implementation of the GHG emissions reduction measures. hich the project targeted at schools (teachers and students). This included the development of a board game called “change for climate”. The project disseminated its results and awareness-raising activities to a large audience within the municipality of Volvos. The majority of the GHG emissions sources covered in the LAP do not fall under the scope of the Emissions Trading Directive and therefore the implementation of the LAP assists emissions reduction in the non-trading sectors, thus promoting the achievement of the quantitative commitments under the Effort Sharing Decision. In addition, the measures included in the LAP have, in many cases, ancillary environmental benefits, especially with respect to air pollution. For instance, interventions related to road transportation and fuel switching contribute to the improvement of air quality, a major EU environmental objective supported by Directive 2008/50/EC on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe. The implementation of the LAP is expected to have significant economic and social benefits. The project’s economic analysis showed that about 60% of the identified GHG emissions reduction interventions present an economic benefit for end-users (municipal and public agencies, services and households) without the provision of any economic subsidies or other similar policies. The full implementation of the energy conservation measures in the LAP for municipal buildings, for instance, was calculated as leading to an annual reduction of energy expenses of around €80 000. Other savings will be achieved through the separate collection of green and organic waste in a pilot composting plant (€190 000 was paid every year for the disposal of green waste) and through eco-driving, which will reduce fuel costs. The CLIMLOCAL2020 project successfully demonstrated that a local authority can develop relevant tools and methodologies to formulate and implement a LAP for GHG emissions reductions, involving municipal buildings, its fleet of vehicles, and waste management facilities (e.g. composting pilot plant, waste water treatment plant), combined with a campaign involving citizens to raise awareness, and pilot actions (e.g. composting). The project’s methodology and experience is transferable to other municipalities in Greece, and elsewhere in Europe, where climate change mitigation issues are being addressed. Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).

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