Limassol Municipality, in cooperation with the municipalities of Yermasoyia, Mesa Yitonia, and Kato Polemidia, have finalised a detailed action plan to achieve a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020. The action plan has been prepared as part of the Covenant of Mayors, a pan-European project that asks local governments to commit to emission reduction targets.
“The municipalities that are participating in the covenant aim to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020.
“This objective will be materialised through actions targeting energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy,” said Demetris Theotis, Senior Inspector of Limassol Municipality Public Health Services.
In the wider Limassol area, planners aim to reduce emissions and save energy through training and awareness measures, interventions in public and municipal buildings, public transport, street lighting, and energy production.
In brief, the Limassol action plan contains the following provisions.
Public buildings: Actions will include building insulation, in order to reduce heating and cooling expenses and save energy, installation of special electronic devices to reduce electronic energy consumption in public buildings with high energy consumption.
Other measures include installing photovoltaic systems on roofs, replacing light bulbs with energy-efficient versions, and proper maintenance of climate control devices.
Awareness-raising: The municipalities will offer information to the public about energy saving and renewable sources of energy, and will organise seminars for children to be accompanied by parents.
Other actions will include training of municipal staff on energy saving, bicycle riding events where bicycle lanes and routes will be showcased, events to promote hybrid and electric cars, and events on recycling and waste control, including seminars on how waste can be used to create energy.
Street lighting: Replace conventional light bulbs with energy efficient versions - although the cost of LED light bulbs is high, the long-term savings are believed to make up for the cost.
In addition, municipalities will perform studies on adjusting the hours when lights are turned on.
Public transport: Municipalities will offer incentives such as free parking to hybrid and electrical cars.
This measure will be applied on a pilot basis and if the public’s response is adequate, then special parking spots will be assigned to such vehicles.
In addition, municipalities will create stations where electrical vehicles can recharge.
Public vehicles: EcoDriving seminars will be offered to municipal staff where they can learn about energy saving driving methods.
Carpooling will be promoted, while staff will be encouraged to abstain from using cars for travelling short distances. In addition, municipalities will explore the option of replacing old vehicles with hybrid or electrical cars.
Green Areas: actions will include planting over 2000 trees by 2020, and maintain green areas in Limassol.
The Covenant of Mayors is an initiative of the European Commission, following the 2008 adoption of the EU Climate and Energy Package, with the aim of supporting the efforts of local authorities in the implementation of sustainable energy policies.
To the present a total of 5,261 local authorities and regions in Europe have signed the covenant.