Dialogue should inspire further work on sustainable energy action

Polotsk attends its first Covenant of Mayors ceremony in Brussels

By Diana Kurilova

After signing the Covenant of Mayors this September, the ancient city has become the first Belarusian participant of the European initiative to save energy and protect the environment. A forum highlighting the importance and prospects of this initiative took place as part of the ceremony.

According to the Chairman of the Polotsk City Executive Committee, Alexander Poznyak, the forum is a productive way to discuss problems. “This format enables local authorities to meet top officials from European institutions and talk over joint events in the energy sector. I have no doubt that this dialogue will give additional impetus to present targets in Europe — and in Polotsk in particular,” he notes.

The Covenant of Mayors ceremony is an annual event, where signatories join supporters and co-ordinators to pledge the reduction of CO2 emissions by at least 20 percent by 2020. Reports are also made regarding ongoing projects.
This year’s ceremony united over 1,000 participants, including the heads of large regions and cities in Europe — such as London, Munich, Bucharest, Rome and Warsaw. Top European officials also attended.

Polotsk has developed a sustainable energy action plan, running until 2020, as part of a project entitled Sustainable Urban Energy in the Region of the European Neighborhood Partnership Instrument — towards the Covenant of Mayors. The document is to be submitted to the Polotsk Council of Deputies in early 2012, aiming to help Polotsk enhance its energy efficiency.

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