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Low-Carbon Economy Regions (LoCaRe)
Start date: Dec 31, 2009, End date: Dec 30, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Sustainable European Regions Network (SERN) is a network with the goal of implementing and putting into practice sustainable development policies and strategies. One of the means in achieving this objective is to develop and implement larger projects in the participating regions. If enough SERN members prioritise a given project idea, a full proposal - as in this case - will be developed. SERN focuses its work on three overall themes: Sustainable Economy, Sustainable Territorial Development, and Governance for Sustainability.The project addresses the EU sustainable development strategy set up in the Gothenburg Agenda making environmental considerations and climate change an integral part in achieving the overall goals of the renewed Lisbon strategy. The project focuses on the area of Energy and sustainable transport within the Interreg IVc Priority 2 targets Environment and Risk Prevention.The project runs for four years and starts as soon as funding is secured.The projects activities are designed to improve the effectiveness of regional development policies through interregional cooperation and thereby contribute to economic and environmental modernisation as well as increased competitiveness in Europe. The six project partners are dispersed throughout the European territory and face through their spatial location and different socio-economic characteristics a wide range of development threats and opportunities:Southern Denmark (DK): a regional authority in southern Denmark (Lead)Västra Götaland (S): A regional authority in the west-central part of SwedenAsturias (E): a regional government in the northern part of SpainEmilia Romagna (I): an administrative region in the northern part of ItalyBusiness Support Centre Gorenjska (SL): A non-profit limited company established by municipalities, chambers of craft, chamber of commerce and Republic of SloveniaProvince of Zeeland (NL): A province in the south-western part of the NetherlandsThe activities in the project include networking and experience exchange (joint annual conferences, workshops and site-visits) and sub-projects implemented by local, public organisations. This will allow for much needed intense intra- and inter-regional collaboration. Activities on both a strategic and a tactical level are thus ensured.The regions will focus on 3 cross-cutting themes: New Climate, New Energy, and New leadership. The sub-projects, in which the municipalities play an important role, will deal with Use of Renewables in Local Energy systems, Carbon Sinks & Carbon Capture, Procurement Practices, Low Carbon Territorial Planning, and Public as a Driver for Low Carbon Economy. These sub-projects are linked to the mentioned cross-cutting themes.The outcomes of the project include Best practice inventories, Thematic analyses, New methodologies and guidelines, Pilot actions, Action catalogues, Policy recommendations and Policy changes Achievements: The LoCaRe project is a mini-programme built upon three strategic themes: New Climate, New Energy and New Leadership. These themes are the focus of the LoCaRe conferences. Analyses are carried out within each theme to feed into the debate. In addition to the strategic themes the project works with 5 Sub-themes being Renewables, Carbon Capture and Carbon Sinks, Procurement Practices, Low Carbon Territorial Planning and Empowerment. The Sub-themes are dealt with at workshops and by the Sub-projects that are being implemented by local and regional actors in the partner regions. The strategic themes and the sub-themes are connected at the events. Exchange of experiences and good practice take place at conferences, workshops and Site Visits. The Kick-off conference took place in Västra Götaland in April 2010 and focus was combined with a Site Visit on Passive Houses. The Workshop on "Building Low Carbon Regions", dealing with Territorial Planning took place in Asturias and was combined with a Site Visit on landfill and use of waste for energy purposes. The analysis on New Energy was elaborated in 2010 and presented at the conference on New Energy early 2011. The conference in Asturias was followed by a Site Visit on Carbon Capture and production of Solar Energy technologies. A workshop and a Site Visit in Denmark featured and discussed examples of Carbon Sinks and Carbon Capture and Storage. Examples of the biobased economy, such as recycling of CO2 for greenhouse production was presented at a Site Visit in Zeeland. Emilia-Romagna presented examples of Sustainable tourism in Low Carbon Territorial Planning. Examples of renewables in energy systems, such as production and use of solar cells were presented in Slovenia. At a Workshop and Site Visit in Zeeland in September 2012 Procurement Practices were discussed on the basis of examples from regions.The Analysis on New Leadership was carried out by Västra Götaland and presented at the New Leadership Conference in Bologna. The conference was followed by a Site Visit on Low Carbon Territorial Planning in Faenza and Conselice. Finally, "Promotion of biogas" as a regional programme was presented in Västra Götaland. The selected 6 Sub-project started activities in 2011. The Sub-projects cover the LoCaRe Sub-themes: Renewables (Biomass Market Place - BIOMAP), Carbon Sinks and Carbon Capture (CARBON.CARE), Low Carbon Territorial Planning (Local Commitment in Small Communities) and Empowerment (European Sustainability Ambassadors, - ESA. Voluntary Agreements for CO2 Reductions in Enterprises VACO2R and Zero Carbon for the Trade Sector - ZEROTRADE). The activities of all Sub-projects are well in progress and can be followed on The Sub-projects also provide examples of good practice that are featured on the web.The project's website contains general information on the project, on partner regions and contact persons. Also, the website has got a section for news, Newsletters, events and Best Practice in which descriptions on regional and local low carbon initiatives are uploaded. The Sub-projects feature their activities and share experiences in a separate section. 4 electronic Newsletters have been published and interested parties can subscribe on the web. All partners have organised regional meetings to involve own organisations and interested local and regional partners in the project, sub-projects and in exchanging experiences and good practice. Possible interested persons from external bodies can be invited for LoCaRe events if they send an expression of interest to LoCaRe Lead Partner.
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