New EU project in the sphere of energy efficiency to be presented in Polotsk, Belarus

On 18-19 January 2011, Polotsk, Belarus will host an international opening conference of the EU project SURE: Sustainable Urban Energy in the ENPI region – towards the Covenant of Mayors. The project is being implemented as part of the EU CIUDAD programme: Cooperation in Urban Development and Dialogue and unites six partners from five countries – Germany, Spain, Belarus, Morocco, and France.

SURE project has a budget of about € 620 000 and will last for 30 months. The project’s lead partner is the German city of Friedrichshafen, the twin city of Polotsk. Main aim of the project is to contribute to sustainable development of energy in two cities – Polotsk (Belarus) and Salé (Morocco) – by fostering their adhesion to the Covenant of Mayors, a widely known European initiative. Signatories of the Covenant of Mayors commit to implement the 20-20-20 strategy of the EU, which aims to achieve significant improvements in the sphere of sustainable energy development by 2020: to reduce CO2 emissions by 20%, to raise the share of renewable energy sources up to 20%, and to increase energy efficiency by 20%. As of today, the Covenant of Mayors has been signed by 2181 European city; Polotsk will be the first Belarusian signatory of this agreement.

Opening conference in Polotsk will feature regional and local authorities of Belarus, Morocco, Germany and Spain, relevant ministries and administrations, Delegation of the European Commission in Belarus, as well as other energy-related institutions, organizations and experts. On January 18, Belarusian and foreign experts will take part in the round table discussion on the methodology of the Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) for Polotsk; development and implementation of the SEAP is a mandatory requirement that all Covenant signatories need to fulfill. During the discussion, Belarusian participants of the round table will have an opportunity to get acquainted with the experience of the Spanish city of Murcia, one of the project partners and a signatory of the Covenant. On January 19, SURE project will be presented to the audience, followed by a public discussion on the issues of sustainable energy planning in Belarusian cities.

Media representatives are kindly invited to attend the press-conference on 19 January at 13.30 a.m. in the building of Belagroprombank (Polotsk, 8a F. Skaryny Ave.)

Contact:

In Belarus (Polotsk City Executive Committee, SURE project partner):

Mr. Ivan Shchadranok, local project assistant: +375 29 632 4872, shchadranok@eu-belarus.net
Ms. Marina Borisova, communications expert: +375 29 873 35 82, borisova@eu-belarus.net
In Germany (City of Friedrichshafen, SURE lead partner):

Mr. Klaus Kloth, +49 7541 203 11 10, k.kloth@friedrichshafen.de.