You have become a member of the Covenant of Mayors in 2010, could you talk to us about this covenant? What were your motivations?
Membership to the Covenant of Mayors is a voluntary act. It marks the determination of a community to actively fight against the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and to develop strategies for adapting to climate change.
The City of Colmar has been a signatory of this progress initiative since May 17, 2010.
I am convinced that action must be taken at the local level to hope for global effects. The main reasons that pushed me to commit the City to such means are related to the desire to further structure our air-climate-energy approach, to be able to compare ourselves with other communities and to discuss our good practices. But to get real results, it would require a greater generalization of actions from the Territorial Communities. Moreover, it is unfortunate that only the Territorial Communities with more than 50,000 inhabitants are obliged to draw up an annual report to the Municipal Council on sustainable development.
By signing this agreement, our community is committed to exceeding the European climate objectives of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by more than 20% by 2020 (compared to our reference year 2007). It is a process of continuous improvement. New targets are set for future deadlines (i.e.: -40% by 2030).
After almost 10 years of membership, what have you achieved? And can you give us some examples of exchanges of good practices and their realization in your commune?
The Covenant of Mayors leads us to carry out regular progress reports which are submitted to the Bureau of the Covenant of Mayors in Brussels.
This is what we have just achieved with our partner, ATMO Grand Est, through the update of emissions assessments for our territory for the years 2007 – 2010 – 2013 and 2016, accompanied by the assessment of the effectiveness of our action plan, up to 2016. In a very encouraging way, our results are in line with the announced objectives. The areas in which the community is directly involved with show significant declines between 2007 and 2016:
- Energy renovation program for municipal buildings, with an average investment of € 1 million per year. 1,856 tons of CO2 avoided
- Aid for the thermal renovation of private housing, with 2,468 cases subsidized until 2016 (4,000 cases by the end of 2018) for an overall amount of aid of € 1.97 million (community and VIALIS local energy supplier). 12,330 tons of CO2 avoided. Work initiated amounted to € 10.6 million at the end of 2016, today we are at € 17.7 million.
- Policy of acquisition of energy-efficient vehicles and optimization of the municipal fleet, reduction of 23% of consumption and 28% of emissions, i.e. 192 tons of CO2 avoided
- Public lighting optimization programs, 21% reduction in energy consumption and 41% in greenhouse gas emissions. 179 tons of CO2 avoided
- Creation of relay parking during Christmas weekends and setting up free shuttles. In 2016, 48,184 passengers carried, 16,000 cars avoided in the city centre, 19.3 tons of CO2 not released
- Performance of district heating (SCCU). In addition to heat injection from household waste incineration, a biomass boiler was commissioned in 2011. The facility’s emission factor decreased by 39% between 2007 and 2016. 30 450 tons of CO2, including 11,000 tons of CO2, avoided thanks to the biomass boiler.
In view of the quality of the elements provided (documents considered “well prepared and particularly structured”), the Bureau of the Covenant of Mayors has indicated its intention to use our restitution materials as a reference tool for member communities of the “Eastern Partnership” of the European Union.
This is the second time that the City of Colmar is noticed by the Bureau of the Covenant of Mayors, among the 7,755 current signatories (57 countries around the world, 252 million inhabitants).
In 2017, our community was already taken as an example in the reporting reference guide with three other cities: Tallinn capital of Estonia (412,000 inhabitants), Gaia in Portugal (303,000 inhabitants) and Vaxjo in Sweden (87,000 inhabitants).
Mairie de Colmar
1 place de la Mairie
BP 50528 68021 Colmar Cedex