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26 Feb 2015

Eleven Belarusian cities join Covenant of Mayors

MINSK, 26 February (BelTA) – Eleven Belarusian cities have joined the European cooperation movement the Covenant of Mayors, Head of the EU Office in Belarus Maira Mora said during the information meeting on the contribution of the European Union to the promotion of energy efficiency and the use of renewable sources of energy in Belarus on 26 February, BelTA has learned.

The Covenant of Mayors is a EU initiative the participants of which pledge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 20% by the year 2020 as against the base year through the implementation of energy conservation projects. “The Covenant of Mayors has been signed by 6,278 cities around the world, including eleven Belarusian cities and towns such as Polotsk, Novogrudok, Oshmyany, Braslav, Rogachev, Molodechno, Chausy, Liozno, Slutsk, Maryina Gorka, and Ivye. The cities-signatories to the Covenant of Mayors get additional access to the modern energy conservation products and technologies and to the experience of other cities. They can also ask international financial organizations for consultations and financial support with the implementation of their sustainable energy action plans. Any municipalities and local government bodies of the Eastern Partnership and Central Asian countries can join the initiative.

“Unfortunately, the movement has no national coordinators in Belarus who would promote the ideas of the Covenant of Mayors. However, the fact that eleven Belarusian cities have signed the initiative gives reason to think that the central and local government bodies in Belarus are concerned about the problems of energy conservation, use of renewable sources of energy, green economy, and sustainable development. This encourages the EU to focus on these areas in its cooperation with Belarus,” Maira Mora noted.

Besides, three Belarusian cities — Braslav, Polotsk, and Chausy — have been granted over €2,360,000 by the EU for the implementation of their sustainable energy action plans.

“From year to year the EU expands its presence in Belarus via trade, economic, scientific, and cultural cooperation and programs of international technical assistance. We are proud to note that the amount of technical assistance provided to Belarus is gradually increasing,” Maira Mora said. She also pointed out that the relations between Belarus and the EU can be further improved.

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