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How a rural Dutch town is working towards sustainability

The municipality of Horst aan de Maas is situated in south-eastern Netherlands, close to the German border. In 2020 it adopted a new local sustainability policy with four main goals: Horst aan de Maas aims to be a fully climate neutral, climate proof, circular and nature-friendly town by 2050. The population of about 42,000 citizens is highly involved in several sustainability projects. Local businesses and many other stakeholders are also involved. In 2019 the local endeavours were awarded with a European Green Leaf Award.

PENGON empowers Palestinian women as sustainable energy leaders

Energy scarcity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip impacts women in different ways than men, yet women are very rarely consulted on energy solutions. ‘Empowering Women as Sustainable Energy Leaders’, an initiative of PENGON, Friends of the Earth Palestine, brings local women together to transform the energy system in Palestine, putting solar energy in their hands. It also empowers women to be active in decision-making around energy and to lead change in their communities.

The municipality of Burgas pioneers energy efficient housing in Bulgaria

Fifteen years ago, the Bulgarian town of Burgas was extremely energy inefficient, leading to very high energy costs for local authorities and citizens, as well as poor living conditions and environmental inequality. Today it is a different story. Burgas is a smart, energy efficient city implementing the most up-to-date energy approaches and measures, thereby demonstrating the power of local authorities to drive sustainable change.