What measures about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change are held in Belarusian cities, were discussed in Vilejka on June 8. There was the conference "Covenant of Mayors Agreement for Climate and Energy: Experience and Cooperation". The event brought together representatives of local authorities and non-profit organizations from the cities that signed the Covenant of Mayors.
At the opening of the conference, the representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, the Department of Energy Efficiency, the Delegation of the European Union in Belarus, the Vilejka District Executive Committee, the IPO "Ecopartnership" and the "Interaction" Foundation said welcome to the participants.
Natalia Andreenko, the coordinator of the projects of the "Ecopartnership", spoke about the development of the European initiative "Covenant of Mayors Agreement for Climate and Energy" in Belarus. She noted that at present 22 Belarusian cities participate in the initiative. Two support structures are working to advise on accession and participation in the initiative in Belarus - IPO "Ecopartnership" and the "Interaction" Foundation.
Special attention was paid to financial instruments that cities can use to carry out activities on energy efficiency and adaptation to climate change. Representatives of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and the Northern Environmental Finance Corporation (NEFKO) told about the current projects in Belarus and the terms of cooperation with public and private services.
Polack, Braslaŭ, Čavusy and Navahrudak have achieved the greatest success in carrying out activities corresponding to the goals of the Covenant of Mayors among the Belarusian cities. Representatives of the four cities described in detail which projects being implemented already and shared their immediate plans for the further implementation of voluntary commitments taken in the Covenant of Mayors.
In the spring of 2017, 8 cities - Braslaŭ, Brest, Vilejka, Viciebsk, Hlybokaje, Bielaazjersk, Čavusy, Kobryn - won the competition for supporting local pilot initiatives held in the EU project “Strengthening the Covenant of Mayors movement in Belarus”. Representatives of the cities told the participants about the planned events.
The conference was not limited to the speeches of representatives of cities. After lunch, the participants were able to take a word in the discussion on "How to improve interaction and exchange of experience between Belarusian cities-signatories". It took place in the format of a 'World cafe', which allowed all participants to get acquainted and share their ideas in an informal atmosphere.
At the end of the conference participants visited several demonstration objects related to the issues of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change.
The conference "The Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy in Belarus" held as part of a European Union project «Strengthening the Covenant of Mayors movement in Belarus» initiative., with a budget of 663,000 euros.