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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 its means the management is to:

  • bundle the technical, planning-related and integrative measures in the energy sector
  • ensure the operation and extension of renewable energies as well as
  • the realization of energy efficiency
  • reduce the dependence on fossil fuels and
  • initiate/activate energetic-sustainable economic cycles (sustainable, regional networks and employment)

In order to achieve this, the coordination and pooling of private (esp. SME and citizenry), local and regional stakeholders and activities in the field of climate protection by supporting the operation of renewable energies is of particular importance. 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 demand- as well as 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 the civil society is to be applied.

The issue of innovation in the respective organizations (especially within the administrations) or respectively the resistances of executive and other staff against necessary alterations will also be broached. Resistance shall be addressed and preferably softened by methods of change management. For this it is essential to meet the challenge of certain tenors and attitudes being obstructive for innovations of local governance (i.e cross-departmental activities).  By this project it is expected to achieve a gain in experience on the subject 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 townships. The proven manual will be transferable to other townships and there it will contribute to advance the local practice.

Work Steps and Applied Methods

Methodically Best Practices for local sustainability management in the energy sector are to be analyzed in the first phase. Special focus is to be given to the establishment of professional networks (incl. SME) and the involvement of the respective stakeholders. Moreover the regulation approaches, the indicators, the anchoring of the projects in (local political) strategies and /or objectives of programs (i.e. development concepts, integrated city development concepts) and local initiatives as well as 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. For this 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 townships an innovative communication strategy is to be developed (third phase) that raises and further enhances the awareness for sustainable development in the townships (enterprises, population and administration). Furthermore the competence network is to be developed and strengthened by applying the communication strategy. The developed communication strategy is supposed to be transferable to other townships. The manual will be tested in the fourth phase. In the model townships the development of competence networks in the energy sector and the implementation of measures will be supported. These networks are to be established to form local and possibly regional working groups that meet regularly. 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 year.

Those townships that were not selected as model townships will be intensely involved in the exchange of experiences. 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 an environmental relief that will exceed legal requirements and the standard practice. They will draw an interim balance 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 commit themselves to better their own climate protection specifications, based on the guidelines of the climate protection alliance and its specifications of 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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