Move from individual projects to challenge-led programmes to maximise Europe’s low carbon activities, Climate-KIC study recommends

A new study by Climate-KIC shows how towns and cities can chart a path for a successful transition to a low carbon economy.

The report, ‘Maximising Europe’s Low Carbon Activities: Moving from Individual Projects to Challenge-led Programmes’ (PDF download) assesses programmes where public authorities have recognised the limitations of a traditional project approach, and moved towards more comprehensive programmes.

Climate-KIC Transition Cities Study

A new study by Climate-KIC shows how towns and cities can chart a path for a successful transition to a low carbon economy.

Europe has set tough targets to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020, with even tougher targets to achieve in 2030 and 2050.

“There is appetite to meet the challenge at grassroots, but initiatives are often isolated and fragmented, limiting their overall impact. As such, the whole of this low carbon endeavour amounts to far less than the sum of its parts,” explains study author Dr. Jon Bloomfield.

The report is drawn from the Transition Cities project, part of a range of Climate-KIC programmes designed to help cities reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create new jobs for their low carbon economies.

Creating low carbon clusters

The Transition Cities project draws on work in Birmingham, Bologna, Budapest, Castellon, Frankfurt, Modena, Valencia and Wroclaw. It suggests two routes to embedding low carbon activity:

Firstly, that cities should consider three crucial ‘end uses’ – buildings, energy networks and transport – and seek to develop low carbon clusters in these areas. This dovetails with European Commission thinking, which shows an increasing interest in approaching climate challenges with systemic solutions.

Secondly, it studies six cases of wide-ranging, broad initiatives that cities and regions have already taken to tackle big climate change issues and how successful these have been in achieving high impact.

An example detailed in the report is of Frankfurt, where the city has set up an Energy Agency to increase the capacity of Combined Heat and Power (CHP). This approach led to the expansion of installed CHP from just 150 kilowatts in 1990, to just under 5 megawatts today. The Agency acts as an enabler by engaging stakeholders, conducting feasibility studies and providing technical expertise.

European Structural Investment Fund programmes

Bloomfield, who works in Climate-KIC’s West Midlands regional centre in the UK, argues that the report’s findings should be used to influence the activities of the new 2014-2020 European Structural Investment Fund programmes, which have sizable allocations for low carbon initiatives.

“The focus on a clear challenge helps to build a critical mass of activity and avoid the dangers of piecemeal fragmentation and isolated, stand-alone projects that have little wider impact,” he explains.

Dr. Jackie Homan, Head of Sustainability at Birmingham City Council, the project lead, agrees that a ‘pepper-pot’ approach, with low carbon projects being scattered across Europe’s cities and regions, is a real danger. “European Regional Policy needs to minimise this risk,” she says.

“It should encourage a challenge-led, transition approach as a model to be followed across its structural fund programmes. A targeted approach focusing on key challenges would concentrate resources and help European low carbon activity to increase its impact,” she adds.

With the initial assessment complete, the project is looking to expand the group of cities engaged through the project. This will enable a larger group of cities to benefit from the challenge-led approach of tackling climate change issues.

Achieving global impact

Climate-KIC’s city initiatives work at the heart of Europe’s low carbon regional development agenda targeting climate impact, social and economic benefit, and reach out to cities around the world.

The organisation is set to launch a new global programme at the ICLEI World Congress in Seoul, South Korea, on 8 April 2015. Climate-KIC’s Low Carbon City Lab programme brings together city administrators and networks, businesses and research centres and aims to enable cities to roll out now low carbon strategies and innovations.

By scaling up its uniquely integrated innovation model and investing in an ambitious range of challenge-led or demand driven demonstrator programmes, Climate-KIC is leading the way in helping our cities chart a path to successful low carbon transition.

Visit our newsroom for the full press release.

You can download a PDF copy of the study.

 
Location
Related Focus Area
Urban Transitions
Articles you may be interested in
In The News
These eleven organisations are building a greener Europe

Google, in partnership with EIT Climate-KIC, launched the €10...

These eleven organisations are building a greener Europe
In The News
New equity crowdfunding programme unearths cleantech start-ups

Found by us, funded by you, a new start-up...

New equity crowdfunding programme unearths cleantech start-ups
In The News
From start-up to 100-person industry player in 18 months: air up is launching ...

It’s a beverage revolution: Healthy hydration while fooling your...

From start-up to 100-person industry player in 18 months: air up is launching in new markets
In The News
#TurnItAround: an event for all climate solutions seekers, suppliers and enabl...

As part of the fifth SDG Global festival of...

#TurnItAround: an event for all climate solutions seekers, suppliers and enablers
In The News
New EIT initiative to boost innovation in higher education

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is...

New EIT initiative to boost innovation in higher education
In The News
Just transition within reach for Polish coal city Rybnik

“We are preparing plans for the next decade. Mentality is...

Just transition within reach for Polish coal city Rybnik
In The News
Inclusive guide helps communities build urban resilience

The new Urban Action Kit, launched by the International...

Inclusive guide helps communities build urban resilience
In The News
Climate app among DigiEduHack 2020 global finalists

The DigiEduHack, supported by EIT Climate-KIC as well as...

Climate app among DigiEduHack 2020 global finalists
In The News
GreeMko receives Climate Reality Project Award in Spain 

GreeMko (for Green Management Technology), a Spanish start-up that...

GreeMko receives Climate Reality Project Award in Spain 
In The News
What’s the future of trade in a climate crisis?

EIT Climate-KIC Chief Executive Officer Kirsten Dunlop addressed the...

What’s the future of trade in a climate crisis?
In The News
Wanted: Green business ideas to fix climate change

Starting today, the seventh edition of the global green...

Wanted: Green business ideas to fix climate change
In The News
Why sustainable water management needs a systemic solution

Ensuring that fresh water is available, in a sustainable...

Why sustainable water management needs a systemic solution
In The News
Integrating nature with technology to strengthen climate adaptation

The European Commission released the new EU Climate Adaptation...

Integrating nature with technology to strengthen climate adaptation
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC is a key player in helping Europe adapt to climate change

EIT Climate-KIC welcomes the new EU strategy on adaptation...

EIT Climate-KIC is a key player in helping Europe adapt to climate change
In The News
Edinburgh: building climate resilient infrastructure and communities

A labyrinth of cobblestone streets, dimly lit and presided...

Edinburgh: building climate resilient infrastructure and communities
In The News
Residents of Kessel-Lo, Belgium, are invited to shape the future of their neig...

EIT Climate-KIC is working with the city of Leuven...

Residents of Kessel-Lo, Belgium, are invited to shape the future of their neighbourhood
In The News
Improved urban parks increase communities’ climate resilience

Start Park, a project led by citizens from Florence,...

Improved urban parks increase communities’ climate resilience
In The News
New accelerator programme geared towards systemic change secures key partners

Following its Open Call, the New Accelerator programme has...

New accelerator programme geared towards systemic change secures key partners
In The News
New videogame builds climate awareness among players

Change Game, a videogame financed by EIT Climate-KIC and...

New videogame builds climate awareness among players
In The News
Organic and homemade food brought to the dining rooms of large corporations

Carlota Mateos and Juan Vila, co-founders of PlenEat have...

Organic and homemade food brought to the dining rooms of large corporations
In The News
Climeworks added to Microsoft’s climate portfolio

EIT Climate-KIC supported Climeworks, a carbon capture technology, is...

Climeworks added to Microsoft’s climate portfolio
In The News
Circular Slovenia named in 100 Climate Policy Breakthroughs

The peer-to-peer learning platform for governments, Apolitical, included EIT...

Circular Slovenia named in 100 Climate Policy Breakthroughs
In The News
New tool uses satellite imagery to accelerate sustainable agriculture

Supported by EIT Climate-KIC and developed by its partner...

New tool uses satellite imagery to accelerate sustainable agriculture
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC at the Climate Adaptation Summit 2021

EIT Climate-KIC will be taking part in the Climate...

EIT Climate-KIC at the Climate Adaptation Summit 2021
In The News
Green Invest from Stuttgart and Start Park from Florence win Climathon Awards ...

A total of 140 teams of citizen finalists applied...

Green Invest from Stuttgart and Start Park from Florence win Climathon Awards 2020
In The News
Biden’s Opportunity for Reinventing Climate Innovation

Joe Biden will be sworn in today as 46th...

Biden’s Opportunity for Reinventing Climate Innovation
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC’s Open Accelerator: collaboration, not competition

It is no secret that to tackle climate change...

EIT Climate-KIC’s Open Accelerator: collaboration, not competition
In The News
New platform inspires sustainable Nordic wood construction

This week marks the launch of NoMuWood.com, an EIT...

New platform inspires sustainable Nordic wood construction
In The News
European Union launches Pact to support citizen-led climate action

On Wednesday 16 December, the European Commission is launching...

European Union launches Pact to support citizen-led climate action
In The News
“An avalanche of hope and energy”: The power of Paris

Our Climate Champions 2020: Melissa Capcha. Five years on...

“An avalanche of hope and energy”: The power of Paris