EU member states have committed themselves to demanding climate and energy targets, the so call “20-20-20 targets”. To reach these targets, however, national and regional policies need to be deployed more efficiently at local authorities’ level.
The STEP project follows this approach by focusing on fostering local level policies supporting energy efficiency. The partnership aims at reducing the energy consumption and CO2 emissions in the partner territories and increasing the rate of renewable energy sources used. In addition, partners promote regional energy self-efficiency and diversification. Partners exchange policy practices via thematic seminars and study visits. To verify some of the practices in focus, three of the partner regions will serve as test ground for light pilot actions. Very importantly, STEP partners involve local authorities throughout the project’s implementation via regional policy exploitation actions. Thus the project serves as platform for the partner local and regional authorities to exchange with energy stakeholders and increase their capacity in the field of sustainable energy planning and implementation.
STEP partners will elaborate thematic policy practice guides with recommendations
in three topics:
(1) Better implementation of sustainable energy policies at local level;
(2) Development of sustainable energy management systems, and
(3) Financing tools for sustainable energy investments.
These guides will translate into 8 regional implementation plans, which will guarantee the durability of the project results. The plans will be realised after the end of STEP and will ensure the regional and local transfer of identified policy tools.
The INTERREG IVC Programme is part of the European Territorial Cooperation Objective. It is a EU programme that helps regions of Europework together to share their knowledge and experience. Launched in 2007, the programme will run until 2013.
The programme provides funding for all regions of Europe plus Switzerland and Norway (regional and local public authorities) to exchange and transfer knowledge and good practice. Two main priorities are targeted: ‘Innovation and Knowledge economy’ and ‘Environment and Risk prevention’. These priorities reflect the strategy of the European Union to encourage growth and jobs in line with the Lisbon and Gothenburg Strategy.
The INTERREG IV C Programme aims, by means of interregional cooperation, to improve the effectiveness of regional development policies and contribute to economic modernisation and increased competitiveness of Europe, by:
Enabling local and regional actors across the EU to exchange their experiences and
Matching regions less experienced in a certain policy field with more advanced regions;
Ensuring the transfer of good practices into Structural Funds mainstream programmes.
INTERREG IVC finances the network element of the European Commission initiative Regions for Economic Change
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