ClimAct CEE: Pioneering climate-neutral zones in Eastern Europe 

EAP, REGEA and ALEA become forerunners in implementing low-emission and decarbonised urban zones in Eastern Europe

ClimAct CEE: Pioneering climate-neutral zones in Eastern Europe 

Coordinated by EAP and alongside REGEA and ALEA, the new ClimAct CEE project on boosting the decarbonised, low-emission transformation in Central and Eastern Europe, and co-funded by the European Climate Initiative (EUKI), has just began.

National authorities in CEE are trying to set-up policy frameworks to cut down the polluting emissions – i.e. through tax incentives for e-vehicles, grants for deep renovation and RES deployment in the residential sector. Also, CEE cities are also pledging their allegiance to tackling the climate challenges by participating in platforms such as the Covenant of Mayors for Energy and Climate and the Smart Cities Marketplace.

The EU’s Fit for 55 package introduced a strong target of 55% reduction of GHG emissions. However, a major obstacle to boosting the implementation of the climate policies in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) still remains – the tangible results of energy and climate interventions take time to achieve and persistence to showcase.

Nonetheless, the expected climate uptake does not seem that vigorous. The EU’s plans for a carbon neutral economy by 2050 are so far-reaching that they may not be achieved in CEE unless there is a steady momentum of decisive and well-concerted climate policies and actions.

The ClimAct CEE project recognises that more nuanced policies and actions at local and regional levels are needed to tackle the climate challenges and support CEE in achieving the long-term EU policies, especially in the light of the Fit for 55 and Green Deal packages. Within ClimAct CEE, the FEDARENE members will demonstrate the strength of integrated, evidence-based climate policies by transforming urban pilot zones in Bulgaria, Croatia, and Romania, into energy-wise, climate-friendly and clean air spaces for the citizens to live and enjoy.

The project will propose a climate-screening framework for reducing GHG emissions and air pollution through converging energy, climate and air quality policies that will trigger decarbonised and low-emission urban transformation in CEE. This will be embedded into a guided tool for the European cities to design and implement decarbonised and low-emission city zones (i.e. climate neutral zones) that will showcase and ensure that integrated policies become a game-changer in fighting the climate challenges we all face. The resulting climate neutral zones will be scaled-up and replicated as flagships of the sustainable, climate-resilient and energy-independent future of all European cities.

The ClimAct CEE project is co-funded by the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.