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13 Dec 2017

More Belarusian cities join EU Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy

MINSK, 13 December (BelTA) - Twenty more Belarusian cities have joined the EU Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. The ceremony to sign the corresponding declaration at the international conference on joint efforts within the initiative took place in Minsk on 13 December, BelTA has learned.

The Covenant of Mayors has been joined by Bykhov, Bobruisk, Verkhnedvinsk, Vitebsk, Volkovysk, Gorodok, Dokshitsy, Ivatsevichi, Kalinkovichi, Krasnopolye, Korma, Mosty, Mstislavl, Nesvizh, Novopolotsk, Pruzhany, Svetlogorsk, Slavgorod, Slutsk and Smorgon. Now it makes up 38 Belarusian cities that take part in the European climate and energy movement to promote the fulfillment of Belarus’ commitments within the Paris Agreement. They have committed to reduce carbon emissions up to 30% by 2030 and develop an action plan on sustainable energy development and climate.

Vassilis Maragos, head of the department for cooperation with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Eastern Partnership countries at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations, stressed that the European Union keeps an eye on how the initiative develops and helps local authorities in reaching their climate and energy goals.

“There are plans for €225 million to be allocated for all the energy efficiency activities envisaged within the framework of the Eastern Partnership. The funds can be combined with the resources that will come from international financial institutions for the implementation of projects in the sphere of water supply, energy efficiency, and others. Part of these funds will be transferred to new signatory cities in Belarus and other countries. All depends on the feasibility of proposals. We provide funding if it is really necessary. As a result the quality of life of people improves,” said Vassilis Maragos.

According to him, the selection of ten projects across the region, including two or three projects from Belarus, has been recently completed. "These will be pilot projects developed by municipalities that have already worked within the framework of the Covenant of Mayors,” the EU representative said.

According to Deputy Director of the Department for Energy Efficiency of the State Committee for Standardization Vladimir Komashko, contribution to the energy efficiency of the Belarusian economy by the events of the Covenant of Mayors is palpable. “This movement is worth a lot, because it is the people’s initiative,” he added.

Minsk is hosting the international conference Covenant of Mayors - East: Joint Actions in Climate and Energy on 13-14 December. Attending the event are more than 150 representatives of the national authorities of Belarus and the signatory states of the Covenant of Mayors (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine), the structures of the European Union, international financial institutions, Belarus’ signatory cities-signatories. The conference is held to establish effective cooperation between local authorities, public organizations and national governments in the energy and climate sector. More than 7,000 cities and regions in different countries have already joined the European initiative.

 

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