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Cities and Climate Protection – Strategic Implementation of Sustainable Energy Management for the Reduction of CO2 Emissions

Project Description

The project’s aim is to support local authorities that are planning to use the future-oriented regulation approach of local sustainability management in order to achieve a reduction of CO2 emissions.

By means of governance:

  • technical, planning-related and integrative measures should be bundled in the energy sector,
  • the operation and extension of renewable energies and the realization of energy efficiency are to be secured,
  • dependence on fossil fuels should be reduced,
  • energy-sustainable economic cycles (sustainable, regional networks and employment) are to be initiated.

In order to achieve this, it is particularly important to coordinate and pool private (especially SME and citizenry), local and regional stakeholders and activities in the field of climate protection by supporting the operation of renewable energies. For model townships, local or related regional competence networks on the subject of energy are to be established that encourage local sustainability management in the energy sector, which is both demand- and supply-orientated, to ensure its activities in the long run. To counter the existing deficits of information and the lack of awareness for sustainable development, an innovative communication strategy for local decision makers, enterprises (esp. SME) and society is to be applied.

The issue of innovation in the respective organizations (especially within administrations) or respectively the resistance of executives and other staff towards necessary alterations will also be broached. Resistance shall be addressed and preferably softened by means of change management. For this, it is essential to meet the challenge of certain tenors and attitudes which are obstructive for local governance innovations (i.e. cross-departmental activities). This project is expected to achieve increased experience in the area of local governance forms for sustainability and to improve the quality of life in the townships.

Based on a best-practice analysis and local strategies of the model cities, an activity manual is to be written and then applied to the model towns. The manual will be transferable to other townships, where it will contribute to advancing local practice.

Work Steps and Applied Methods

Methodical best practices for local sustainability management in the energy sector are to be analyzed in the first phase. Special attention is to be given to the establishment of professional networks (including SME) and the involvement of the respective stakeholders. Moreover, the regulation approaches, indicators, anchoring of the projects in (local political) strategies and /or objectives of programs (i.e. development concepts, integrated city development concepts) and local initiatives in addition to the processes of communication that have taken place are to be examined.

By means of a SWOT-analysis, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are to be identified to distinguish success factors as well as constraints for sustainability management in the energy sector. On the basis of these results, a transferable manual for the implementation of a local sustainability management in the energy sector is to be compiled in a second phase. In so doing, it is of particular importance to compass the factors for success in the energy sector. Criteria for sustainability in the energy sector that have already been established are therefore taken into account. Their implementation will be facilitated by using the manual.

For a successful implementation in the townsships, an innovative communication strategy is to be developed (third phase) that raises and further enhances awareness for sustainable development in the townships (enterprises, population and administration). Furthermore, the competence network is to be developed and strengthened by applying this communication strategy. The communication strategy intends to be transferable to other townships. The manual will be tested in the fourth phase. The development of competence networks in the energy sector and the implementation of measures will be supported in the model townships. These networks are to be established to form local and possibly regional working groups that meet on a regular basis. They also function as analysis forums reflecting the progress and results of the processes initiated (evaluation, performance review). The model townships are located in western as well as in eastern Germany in order to consider the different starting situations and demands. An exchange between the model townships is planned to take place, especially in the second and third project years.

The townships that were not selected as model townships will be intensely involved in the exchange of experience. A professional advisory board will be established to accompany the project for advisory support and evaluation. The professional advisory board will hold meetings once a year.

The local authorities of the model townships all aim to achieve environmental relief that will exceed legal requirements and standard practice. They will draw an interim assessment via a CO2 balance at the beginning of the project, or no later than the start of the communication process. The selected model townships Darmstadt and Eisenach have commit themselves to improving their own climate protection specifications, based on the guidelines of the climate protection alliance and its specifications from 2006.

German Environment Foundation (DBU), 02.2008-04.2011

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Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heidi Sinning, Project leader
Dipl.-Ing. Christiane Steil

Phone: + 49 (0)361 6700-374/-390
Fax: + 49 (0)361 6700-373

Postal address:
Postbox 45 01 55
99051 Erfurt

Visitor address:
Altonaer Straße 25
99085 Erfurt
House 12, Room 12.1.02



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