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Origin of the project

The launch of Covenant of Mayors initiatives by EU commission in January 2008 had represented a milestone for local public authorities in playing an active role in energy policies. Around 1.200 municipalities have already signed the Covenant and a great part of them are small municipalities.

The first commitment in order to be part of the Covenant is the designing of the Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP): the key document that shows how the local government will reach its GHG emission target.

This task are representing a deep criticalities for a growing number of signing cities, in particular the smallest ones, which are realizing that they haven’t neither the competences to design the SEAP nor the funds to implement it. From the wish to find a solution to this common problem ZeroCO(2) born.


Project partnership is composed by local public administrations, local and national energy agencies environmental NGO and other technical structure which are implementing in years positive actions in the field of energy efficiency mainly funded by Intelligent Energy Europe Programme. In particular ZeroCO(2) wants to capitalize and match the experiences developed in two of these projects: 3-NITY, based on supporting actions toward local planners in design and implementation of energy policies with the deep engagement of market actors and citizens, and RuralEvolution which apply PPP scheme to the creation of agro-energetic local district.


A key role in the European energy efficiency policy must be played by public bodies because in local communities more than 50% of the GHG emissions are created and up to 80% of energy is consumed.

European Union, since 2006 through EU Climate Action and Renewable Energy Package, had stated has a crucial issue:  “Mitigate climate change through the implementation of intelligent local sustainable energy policies that create stable local jobs and increase citizens’ quality of life and address crucial social issues achieving the goal to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020, as a result of a 20% increase in energy efficiency and a 20% share of renewable energy sources in the energy mix.”

 If for cities of medium or big dimension this could represent an achievable objective for the smallest municipalities it represents a not realistic perspective due to the shortage of funds to invest in this kind of interventions and the lack of competences able to assist local authority in carrying out municipal energy audit and in designing a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) which should lead the local communities towards the achievement of the energy sustainability and zero emission goal.

To the other side private actors are looking for new markets which could ensure high and durables revenues. At the moment, Energy services and products sector, according also with European policy, could represent for entrepreneurs a primary field of action.


For these reasons main project idea is to favour the creation of local Public Private Partnership (PPP) promoted and coordinated by association of municipalities or provinces which involve both small municipalities and public and private actors active in the field of energy such as Local and National Energy Agencies, Energy Services COmpany (ESCO) research centers, etc.

The Public Private Partnership will be in charge of implementing the SEAP guaranteeing the achievement of energy efficiency in small municipalities and at the same time creating new business and job opportunities.

Furthermore considering that SEAPs with a high degree of citizen participation are the most likely to get continuity in the long-term and to succeed in attaining their objective, project plans a double level campaign, local and International, targeted on citizens-consumers, youngsters and entrepreneurs aimed at promoting energy responsibility in daily behaviors and in business strategy.


The following results will be achieved: 

 - Enhancement of energy performance of Med area, towards the goal of Zero  

   Emission Community,

 - Attraction of private funding on initiatives of sustainable economic development,

 - Creation of new businesses and job opportunities in a framework of local 

   sustainable development

 - Behavioural changes in citizenship of the involved areas and their deep

   engagement in Zero Emission community realization

  - Adoption, by other local institutions beyond project partnership, of the PPP

   scheme and of energy efficiency policies

page | by Dr. Radut