NRW Minister for the Environment Remmel: "Recording greenhouse gases helps climate protection in the long term"
This news item corresponds to a press release from the Ministry for the Environment of the state of Northrhine-Westphalia to which we would like to draw your attention.
Almost 300 local authorities in Northrhine-Westphalia use the CO2 auditing program 'ECORegion' to analyze their greenhouse gas footprints. The EnergieAgentur.NRW supports them in collecting the data.
Northrhine-Westphalia is leading in Europe in the specific recording of greenhouse gas emissions. Almost three quarters of all local authorities create a CO2 balance and use uniform standards. "With the administrative districts, towns, local authorities, and the EnergieAgentur.NRW, we are currently creating a reliable data basis for local CO2 emissions. This enables us to identify local strengths and weaknesses over the long term and to act more efficiently with regard to climate protection," says Climate Protection Minister Johannes Remmel.
In 2011, the Ministry for Climate Protection invested in special software and since then has been providing local authorities and administrative districts with the 'ECORegion' program free of charge. 'ECORegion' makes it easy to record CO2 emissions and forms the basis for a uniform calculation method. In the meantime, 295 local authorities in NRW use the tool for their balancing - almost no other region in Europe has such a broad basis of information. The high level of acceptance means that the license agreement is to be extended by the Ministry for Climate Protection for this service for local authorities until 2015.
The EnergieAgentur.NRW provides training for the municipal employees and supports the local authorities in collecting the necessary data. Additional data are entered centrally - for example from European emissions trading, regarding solar thermal systems or also via the NRW energy atlas. This creates a framework of data that can be refined locally. "Clean data collection is extremely important, but unfortunately not very entertaining. We therefore want to slim down the work overhead for local authorities as far as possible," explained Lothar Schneider, CEO of EnergieAgentur.NRW.
Marcel Gellißen, Climate Protection Manager in the town of Willich, for example, is gaining practical experience with 'ECORegion'. "For us, ECORegion simplifies entry into CO2 balancing. We now know specifically which data we have to collect and which core issues we have to cover. Without a framework, it is extremely difficult especially for smaller local authorities to identify their own CO2 footprint."
With the scheduled continuation of the project, the Ministry for Climate Protection is underlining its objective to provide municipal climate protection plans and CO2 balancing across the board.