In March 2007, the European Council set a series of challenging and aspirational climate and energy targets for the EU to meet by 2020, known as the “20-20-20” targets:
Ensure 20% of EU energy consumption comes from renewable resources;
Improve energy efficiency by 20%;
Achieve a reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, compared to 1990 levels.
In March 2009, binding legislation was adopted through a climate and energy package, to implement the 20-20-20 targets. This legislative package establishes specific policies to reach these goals and distributes them to the members’ states (which may adopt more restrictive emission regulations if they wish).
To reach these targets, regions and local authorities play an important role, especially as the EU is encouraging regions to develop and implement climate change mitigation strategies, such as Covenant of Mayors initiative.
Furthermore, current national data for GHG emissions is not of the sufficiency and accuracy to help European regions define and monitor local strategies; and there are already many local monitoring systems in place dealing with environmental issues (such as energy and GHG emissions, air quality, climate change, etc).
For these reasons we decided to create the European Network ENERGee-watch, with the aim of standardising data at a European Level, enabling comparisons across European territories to be made and for European-wide methodologies to be established. Membership is free of charge.
To date, many observatories in Europe are built on air quality observation, with the structures governed by a local consortium and financially supported by public authorities. Furthermore, the methodologies used to observe GHG emissions are based on International standards (IPCC and Corinair) and national methodologies, rather than European-wide methods. The observatories identified through the Energee-Watch network so far have expressed the need for further standardisation amongst observatories, in order to enable comparisons between territories and European methodologies to be established.
The creation of a European Network will therefore provide members with the opportunity to achieve this standardisation and to share experiences and to improve together.
Energee-Watch has three main missions:
1) To share experiences between regional/local public authorities in the field of energy and GHG inventory;
2) To share experiences amongst GHG monitoring organisations. For example by:
Sharing how to set up a local observatory and involve local stakeholders;
Comparing existing monitoring methodologies and processes;
Comparing existing partnership agreements for data collection and diffusion;
Comparing and evaluating existing tools (GIS,…etc);
Complying with European directives (Inspire: exchange of environmental data etc).
3) Involve and work with European organisations to:
Define methodologies suited to local needs (bottom up approaches,..);
Define common guidelines in order to be able to compare the performance of territories;
Improve national and international observation methodologies based on feedback from regional approaches (bottom-up);
Evaluate the European energy policies (CoM).
ENERGee-Watch is a place for exchanging and providing different stakeholders with methodological and observation tools aimed at assisting the elaboration of balance sheets and data dissemination. Besides facilitating the creation of regional observatories, it will also strengthen the quality of the works of observation at the regional level in Europe, and support the policy makers in their decision-making process.
The leaflet is available in English.