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Komotini’s plans for a climate-friendly future

Komotini is a municipality in north-eastern Greece with just under 60,000 inhabitants. Still recovering from the effects of the financial crisis of 2008 and dealing with the resulting financial restrictions, the municipality is now planning to take its energy supply into its own hands. With an impressive track record of active citizenship and a fruitful cooperation between the administration and residents, there are high chances that these plans will soon be put into practice.

Rijeka: The energy transition of Croatia’s seaport

Rijeka is Croatia’s most important seaport, and, with a population of 128,000 people, the country’s third-largest city. The city’s economy is largely dependent on shipbuilding and logistics. Selected as the European capital of culture in 2020, Rijeka is working hard on an energy transition. In 2009, Rijeka became one of the first cities in Croatia to join the Covenant of Mayors and committed to reducing its carbon emissions by at least 20% by 2020. The city achieved a reduction in CO2 emissions of 38 kilotons, or around 10%.

Rijeka has seen the largest number of renovations of apartment buildings in Croatia: the programme is under way and at least 123 apartment buildings will be retrofitted, with the help of EU funds (60% grant rate). While there is an increase in energy consumption due to newly built facilities, there will be an overall reduction in CO2 emissions.

Nottingham’s plan to win the race to carbon-neutrality

Nottingham is a historic English city in the East Midlands region with about 331,000 inhabitants and a wide range of sporting and cultural venues. The city and its Council have made headlines in recent years for leadership and innovation around the low-carbon and energy agendas.

Building on recent successes, the City Council declared a climate and ecological emergency, and set a nationally leading target to reach sustainable carbon neutrality by 2028, 22 years before the nation-wide goal.[1] To reach this ambitious target, the Council has been taking bold steps: it introduced a levy on workplace parking spaces to help fund the expansion of a low-carbon tram network, continues to engage citizens in a year of carbon neutral thinking and the ongoing development of their 2028 Carbon Neutral Action Plan, and is committed to planting 50,000 new trees.

How Križevci’s residents created Croatia’s first crowdfunded solar power plant

The Croatian city of Križevci is becoming a national pioneer in the fight for clean energy and against energy poverty. Located not far from the capital Zagreb in central Croatia, the municipality is home to about 21,000 people, half of whom live in the city itself and half in the surrounding rural areas. Križevci is the first Croatian city to implement a crowdfunded renewable energy project, an endeavour that has made it a beacon in the country, with many others now looking at how to replicate the success story.

The ‘smart’ transformation of a Black Sea metropolis

Burgas has recently been named the ‘Best city to live in Bulgaria’[1] – which ­may just have something to do with its strategy of transforming itself into a climate-friendly city without leaving any of its residents behind. The implementation of the municipality’s action plan 2014-2020, designed to set Burgas on a path towards becoming an inclusive ‘smart’ metropolis, has already changed the face of the city’s residential buildings and upgraded its transport system.