Eastern Europe with new model of energy efficiency in the time of biggest

climate challenge

Tartu, 12.2018. While the world leaders face a COP24 in Katovitse, Poland, CEESEN offers low carbon roadmap for sustainable future. This newly emerging CEE joint force is made to tackle climate change.

Over the past two weeks, the Polish city of Katowice has hosted the most prominent annual climate summit – COP24. The highest level of 200 countries representatives participate in the discussions going on with contentious success. And while negotiations between world political leaders are lurking, the non-government sector, regions, energy agencies and businesses are working to tackle climate change.

Energy efficiency is one of the key issues for Eastern European countries. They consume between two and four times more energy per unit of GDP, which makes them less competitive than other European countries. The results of COP24 so far reaffirm the need for energy transformation and decarbonisation worldwide for the countries to deal with one of the greatest challenges facing us – climate change. A key role in this activity is played by the Central and Eastern European Sustainable Energy Network (CEESEN).

What is CEESEN?

The Central and Eastern European Sustainable Energy Network (CEESEN) was established under the PANEL 2050 project, supported by European Union. Laying the foundations for energy transformation of East European economies and transforming them into low-carbon ones by the middle of the century is a main goal. CEESEN network now supports local communities in 11 countries from Estonia to Macedonia to meet global and European decarbonisation targets by 2050. This happens in several ways: Actions for energy sustainability and local economy transformation are planned within municipalities after an elaborate visioning and strategic planning. CEESEN network helps to engage stakeholders more actively in the process of energy transformation while targeting groups with specific trainings. Networking is secured with meetings and exchange between regions. Among the network leaders are identified with their capacity to achieve the desirable energy and economic change.

As one of the missions of the Central and Eastern European Sustainable Energy Network (CEESEN) decarbonisation is a long-term action that needs to be started as emergency.

CEESEN in action

The year of 2018 is particularly intense for CEESEN. What are truly remarkable results of the joint efforts are the numbers of people engaged that were enabled to undergo regional strategic planning processes aimed at long-term visioning for low carbon local economies. A large amount of local information was analyzed to identify specific short-term and long-term measures for each target region as part of their strategies and action plans. More than 1300 stakeholders took part in 43 training sessions, setting the foundations for 10 visions, 10 strategies and 100 action plans in Central and Eastern European regions. The whole process is available online with easy access to training materials and local examples for more interested parties to benefit. Anyone, business, political or local actor, can get easy access to the right desirable partners among Central and Eastern Europe most climate action engaged regions.

What’s ahead?

“A Partnership for New Energy Leadership” is a forthcoming conference to be held from 23 to 25 January 2019 in Tartu, Estonia by Estonian University of Life Sciences. The event will focus on building an energy-conscious low-carbon future in Central and Eastern Europe with key speakers from the European Commission, the Covenant of Mayors, as well as the individual regions. The registration to conference has already begun. Together with the conference the Energy Info day will be held by the European Commission on January 25th focusing on the Horizon 2020 funding options connected to the conference topic.

Need for urgent action

The conference will be held three months after the publication of “Living Planet” by the global environmental guardian WWF. The report identified atmospheric pollution, a result of mining and heavy industry, as one of the planet’s biggest threats. The document shows that for the last half-century Earth’s average temperatures have risen 1.2 degrees above the pre-industrial era.

Preserving this trend could have devastating consequences for a number of countries and more sensitive ecosystems, as well as lead to the loss of natural habitats, the acceleration of ice melting and rising sea levels, experts are warning. This will undoubtedly have a significant impact on our health, livelihood, security and economic growth. These finding are in line with the most recent UN climate report, warning us from exceeding 1.5 degrees temperature level and demanding for urgent action.

In this regard, the European Commission adopted a long-term strategic vision, which aims to make the EU economy climate-neutral by 2050. CEESEN recalls that climate change is not just a burden but a chance to redesign the energy sector for more competitive tomorrow.