Launch of the Baltic Sea Region Covenant Club

Launch of the Baltic Sea Region Covenant ClubThe Baltic Sea Region Covenant Club was launched at the joint commission seminar for the Union of Baltic Cites (UBC) on the 11th of May in Halmstad, Sweden. The UBC provides an existing supporting structure for the new Covenant Club and has a 20-year record of inter-regional support. The Baltic Sea Region Covenant Club will serve as the supporting network for current and potential signatories.

Among the 65 registered participants, 15 signatories from the Baltic Sea Region were represented to discuss sustainable urban development. The seminar included a designated working group that focused on the challenges signatories experience and how the new Baltic Sea Region Covenant Club can support cities in the Baltic Sea Region to reach the Covenant of Mayors goals.

The working group focused on three specific elements for the Covenant Club including:

  • Support mechanisms – How do we provide other club members with relevant support?
  • Workflow and communication – When will trainings take place and how do we secure efficient channels of communication?
  • Relevant areas to support – What are the challenges that require special attention towards the 2020 goals?

Launch of the Baltic Sea Region Covenant ClubDuring the workshop various supporting mechanisms and topics of discussion were raised. There was a general agreement among the participants to focus on the requirements for the Baseline Emission Inventory (BEI) and the Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAP) as the key support for the Covenant Club. The Baltic Sea Region Covenant Club has the advantage of covering several countries, some of them even with their own national Covenant Club. The inter-regional club will thus build on the strength from various countries with the primary focus on technical support, policy solutions and sharing of practical experiences within the Baltic Sea Region.

Several of the more than 100 cities in the Union of Baltic cities already have ambitious goals for sustainable urban development and reduction of CO2 emissions. This provides good opportunities for the Covenant Club to reach out and support them in signing the Covenant of Mayors, where they can utilise the knowledge/sharing and joint resources in the club and reach the 2020 goals.

An Action Plan will be prepared, based on the information from the stakeholders to secure members of the Covenant Club the best opportunities to achieve their obligations. Some of the participants already signed the charter for developing the action plan and others are to follow when the participant have agreed on the action plan. The activities are open for all members of UBC for them to build capacity within their local authorities and learn about the benefits of the Baltic Sea Region Covenant Club and the Covenant of Mayors.

Project coordinated by Energy Cities,Supported by Intelligent Energy – Europe: for a sustainable future and ADEME