28th of February 2012
Transnational Action Plan for Central Europe
One of the major tasks of the 4Biomass project has been the elaboration of the Transnational Action Plan for Central Europe containing recommendations for policy makers and implementing authorities towards sustainable bioenergy development by a joint and consistent policy approach.
It is a conclusive output based on findings from Country Studies, Trade Studies, Needs for Demoprojects and especially from Stakeholder Dialogue Synthesis Report which can be all viewed at the 4Biomass publication site.
Todayâ€™s fossil-based economy is no longer sustainable. It is clear that this model threatens climate stability and consequently the health and prosperity of future generations. Hence, a global â€śGreat Transformationâ€ť aiming at climate and energy compatibility is necessary, and therefore structural changes are required immediately (WBGU 2011). Additionally, fossil fuel costs continue to rise and prices are highly volatile.
Citizens across several societies have realised the urgency of phasing out fossil fuels by de-carbonising human activities. The nuclear incident in Fukushima revealed a disastrous inability to cope with the enormous damages that threaten the population. Because this event occurred in a highly industrialised country, politicians, environmental actors and the media in several countries have begun to rethink and discuss the risks and threats of nuclear power. Thus, renewable energy production sources have a more realistic chance of implementation as an effective option to produce and use clean energy, while harmful and risky energy sources are phased out. Worldwide cooperation for the â€śGreat Transformationâ€ť is needed to tackle climate change now and achieve the 2degree Celsius climate protection goal that was agreed upon at the 2010 Cancun Summit.
Many countries, particularly those in Europe, are striving for a resource efficient and low carbon economy. â€śGreening the economyâ€ť, â€śgreen growthâ€ť of gross domestic product, and new welfare indicators that measure the state of societies extensively and not just its economic performance, are common phrases in statements and documents. â€śSustainabilityâ€ť, meaning to ensure an environmentally-friendly, economically sound, and socially responsible approach to all activities in all dimensions of society, is a common motto in theoretical and practical political guidance papers. The European Union commits that â€śthe overriding objectives of European energy policy have to be sustainability, competitiveness, and security of supply, necessitating a coherent and consistent set of policies and measures to achieve themâ€ť (EU COM 2011). Thus, there is strong support for projects aiming to promote the sustainable use of renewable resources in the EU Member States.
The 4Biomass project, which is financed by the EU INTERREG IVB Programme for Central Europe and the European Regional Development Fund, was developed with the vision to promote an integrated, sustainable and efficient bioenergy policy in Central Europe (CE). The objective is to support the efforts of the CE countries to implement bioenergy policies that follow specifications of their National Renewable Energy Action Plans. Project partners from Austria (AT), the Czech Republic (CZ), Germany (DE), Hungary (HU), Italy (IT), Poland (PL), and Slovenia (SI) established comprehensive studies on political framework, available domestic biomass potential, and trade within the countries and beyond. The findings were subsumed in Synthesis Reports.
The â€śStakeholder Dialogueâ€ť, a survey among bioenergy actors, resulted in a clear vote for local and regional use of biomass that is preferably for heating. This utilisation path lowers greenhouse gas emissions, reduces energy costs, and provides long-term job opportunities.
The data base of demo projects and the â€śJoint Management Toolâ€ť facilitate planning and implementation of new bioenergy projects all over Central Europe. Furthermore, several Central European Bioenergy Centres (CEBC) were nominated during the Transnational Forum conference in April 2011 in Warsaw. These centres disseminate information on bioenergy issues, and they facilitate a regional, national and international network that connects actors and actor groups that seek advice (www.4biomass.eu).
The Transnational Action Plan for Central Europe can be viewed here [pdf].
This project is implemented through
the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme co-financed by the ERDF