The project Bridging European and Local Climate Action (BEACON) was a multi-level governance project promoting climate action and facilitating an exchange between national networks and governments as well as municipalities and schools in Europe. It has been funded by the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) – a support programme of the German Ministry for the Environment (BMU).
BEACON has built a broad network: 34 partner municipalities and 55 partner schools from Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Greece, Portugal, Bulgaria and Germany were engaged in the exchanges of experience and knowledge. The project team provided the municipalities with capacity building and technical support through coaching and 12 transnational thematic workshops. Partner schools have received on-site visits and introductory workshops on energy savings. In addition, seven city partnerships were supported in cooperation on climate change mitigation. Furthermore, European experts identified good practices for national emission reduction policy instruments. This allowed us to publish 15 case studies based on an EU-wide analysis for the buildings, transport, small industrial installations and agriculture sectors on the BEACON website as well as many more inspiring publications as for example a comic book
All municipalities participating in the project came together for two European municipal conferences (in 2019 in Heidelberg and 2021 online) to present their commitment and network with others.
Energy Cities contributed primarily to the conceptual design of all tasks related to the preparation, organisation, implementation and follow-up of exchange with municipalities such as participation in the thematic workshops and/or in advising local communities. Energy Cities participates in the municipal conferences and contributes to their content.
Thanks to its experience from the TANDEM project, Energy Cities was able to contribute significantly to shaping the work programme of the municipal climate partnerships. To this end we were in charge of two of the seven selected municipal climate partnerships, namely one German-Polish (Schwäbisch Hall and Zamość) and the German-Romanian partnership (Arnsberg and Alba Iulia). Besides the exchange of experiences and the transfer of know-how (especially on the use of renewable energies), first joint projects such as city cycling or the establishment of “green classrooms” could be carried out. Unfortunately, there are currently no support programmes at national and EU level for such longer-term partnerships, as we point out in a policy brief together with adelphi.
Furthermore, our network also participated in the knowledge management and public relations efforts throughout the project, in particular in the Climate Change Mitigation Kit.