Climatlantic: The importance of the carbon footprint reduction

 The Experts of CLIMATLANTIC took part in the 1st Congress on Smart Cooperation : “Territorial Cooperation fostering European integration: Cities and Regions linking across borders”, done in A Coruña on June 25 and 26, to present the results of the work developed within the project during the last year and a half.Jose Maria Costa, President of the Eixo Atlântico, introduced the experts. In his speech, in addition, the President of Eixo Atlântico explained the problems that Atlantic Arc cities and regions deal with like the need of employment policies and promote the efficient use of energy, as well as to promote a better environmental education. To solve these problems Europe needs to implement integration and territorial cooperation policies.
Emilio Fernandez, coordinator of the Think Tank, was in charge of presenting the project CLIMATLANTIC and the main lines of the strategy developed by the experts. He explained how the raise of emissions has as a result the climate change, biodiversity loss and the increase of pollutants. He pointed transport as one of the most important factors that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. To treat the problem in a global manner, the project CLIMATLANTIC has developed a strategy based on four key themes: Mobility, Energy, Territorial Management and Social Behaviour; proposing concrete actions for each one of these pillars.
Maria Teresa Lameiras Salgado, representative of the Managing Authority of the Atlantic Area Transnational Cooperation Programme, presented the technical aspects of the project and the program in which it is developed. Population in the Atlantic area is distributed in an unbalance way. To obtain a sustainable development of this territory the program addresses four big areas that are linked: innovation, environment, accessibility and promotion of transnational synergies on sustainable urban and rural development. Currently, the 30% of the budget has been spent.After these first speeches, the coordinator of each strategic pillar of the CLIMATLANTIC Think Tank presented the main conclusions of the work done in each one of them.Dominique Breuil, CLIMATLANTIC mobility coordinator, concluded that the demand trends for mobility point to the development of new services and technologies. He identified big differences referring to the population density and passengers and good traffic needs. As measures for the future, he aims to the creation of efficient ports in the Atlantic Arc that, in the future, become energy producers.

Terry O’Brian, representing the coordinator of the area of energy, explained how to contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions through energy efficiency. The action plan towards 2020 includes the use of wind energy resources, renewable heating or renewable transport. The prediction is that in 2020 we will reach the projected reduction of carbon emissions and see the improvement of renewable energy use.

Sofia Girnary, coordinator for the area of social behaviour of CLIMATLANTIC, pointed as main target of her work to spread awareness among the citizens about the responsible use of energy to help to reduce carbon emissions. The conclusions of the work within this pillar point to developing educative and communication campaigns, especially at schools.

Ricardo Bento, expert coordinator for the pillar of social behaviour of CLIMATLANTIC, concluded that it is necessary to identify the perspective of European territorial development, describe the territorial planning trends and train local /regional technicians on sustainable development to reduce the overall carbon footprint through the efficient and appropriate territorial (local and regional) planning from the environmental point of view.

Charles Nicol, Secretary General of the Conference of Atlantic Arc Cities, was in charge of presenting the workshop conclusions. He pointed to the climate change as one of the biggest challenges of the Atlantic Arc, seeing necessary reduce the carbon footprint in order to prevent it through measures such as those exposed by the CLIMATLANTIC experts and collected in the strategic document developed in the framework of the project.

More info: Climaatlantic website

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