Monday 5 March 2012

Bulgaria: A call upon the Government and local authorities: the Covenant is here to stay!

“We call upon all regional and local authorities and the national Government to support the Bulgarian municipalities in joining the Covenant of Mayors and executing their obligations; to actively promote all their initiatives in the areas of energy autonomy, liberalization of energy markets and territorial cohesion.”

“We call upon all regional and local authorities and the national Government to support innovative programmes and projects, which provide access to knowledge and experience of leading EU regions favouring the establishing of bright examples in the area of energy efficiency and building practice.”

These are just a few of the points from the Declaration accepted at the first major event of the Bulgarian CovenantClub and Dialogue Platform. But the Platform itself, established in the framework of the NET-COM project, seems to have gained even more visibility and authority, serving as an open space for discussions of both policy measures and concrete actions in support of energy efficiency and climate change mitigation at local level.

The launching event of the Bulgarian Covenant Club and Platform took place on 21-22 February 2012 in Sofia, gathering no less than 49 representatives of municipalities, ministries, national agencies, Covenant Supporters, scientific establishments and NGOs in spite of the adverse weather conditions.

In addition to the opening seminar targeted to policy makers at national and local level, two workshop sessions were conducted, dedicated to sustainable energy planning in municipalities and energy efficiency in buildings, as related to the implementation of the Covenant and the practical realisation of the ambitious climate and energy goals of the EU.

Two of the leading Bulgarian municipalities – Dobrich and Burgas – caught the occasion and shared their experience in joining the Covenant, presenting all stages of the process: the combination of political will and public support, leading to involvement of all engaged stakeholders and the actual elaboration of the SEAPs.
It was commonly agreed that these are examples to be followed and here comes the increased responsibility of the EcoEnergy Municipal Energy Efficiency Network with its concept for elaboration of a generally approved Covenant Roadmap. Come May, the Roadmap should be open for discussion – along with many other pressing issues already identified for the next Bulgarian Covenant Club and Platform meeting.

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