Focus On - September 2011
European islands are joining forces to fight against climate change
ISLE-PACT supports the further uptake of sustainable energy actions for European islands. The participating island authorities are committed to developing Islands Sustainable Energy Action Plans (ISEAPs) and a pipeline of bankable projects with the aim of meeting or exceeding the EU sustainability target of reducing CO2 emissions by at least 20% by the year 2020.
The project, which was launched in early 2010, is coordinated by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar - The Outer Hebrides of Scotland, and is co-financed by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Energy.
Concrete targets for more sustainable islands
There are twelve groups of European islands (around 50 islands) that are currently involved in ISLE-PACT. In line with the EU2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, the island authorities have set clear objectives through ISLE-PACT:
- Meet the target of more than 20% CO2 emissions reduction by 2020;
- Demonstrate the political commitment of European islands to EU sustainable energy actions by signing a binding declaration, the Pact of Islands;
- Produce Islands Sustainable Energy Action Plans (ISEAPs) and a pipeline of bankable projects;
- Propose a number of financing tools and mechanisms that will provide the financial resources needed by investors to implement the bankable projects;
- Develop a socio-economic and environmental impact analysis;
- Increase the level of awareness of the islands' efforts to contribute to the fight against climate change.
Setting the foundations for long term success
The process to build sustainable island communities is continuous and requires both a collective effort and great commitment.
Through this long-term collaboration, an increasing number of European islands is expected to adopt innovative and effective methodologies, tools and mechanisms that can lead to significant benefits:
- A steady improvement of local economic conditions in the participating island communities through enhanced economic development, a positive contribution through the creation of new jobs in innovative and highly technical sectors, as well as the retention of local populations and improved investment conditions;
- A steady increase in the levels of awareness across island communities of the societal value of sustainable energy plans and therefore green investments with the participation of local citizens;
- A tangible contribution to EU sustainable energy and climate change policy targets and objectives and more specifically the achievement of the target of 20% CO2 reduction by 2020.
The Pact of Islands: from political commitment to concrete action
The Pact of Islands (PoI) is a binding instrument with which island authorities enter into a political engagement in order to meet the objectives of the ISLE-PACT project. The document is structured in a manner similar to the Covenant of Mayors and takes into account the particularities of European island communities.
The Signing Ceremony of the Pact of Islands took place at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels on 12 April 2011. 49 European island authorities signed the PoI in a ceremony attended by Commissioner Damanaki, many members of the European Parliament and other dignitaries. The event was held within the context of the European Sustainable Energy Week.
Presidents of EU island regions and island mayors and representatives of island authorities together with Mercedes Bresso, President of the Committee of the Regions
The political authorities of the European islands that are at the forefront of this initiative indicated the commitment of their island communities to help achieve the 20-20-20 objectives of the European Union. Since then, 3 more European islands have signed the Pact, bringing the total number of signatories to 52. More are expected to join in the near future.
A meeting of all Pact of Islands signatories is scheduled for 15 October 2011 in Athens. It will be organised by the Network of Sustainable Aegean Islands (DAFNI). The aim of the meeting is to discuss the structure and operation of the Pact of Islands scheme post 2012 and the mobilisation of financial resources for the support of island actions towards 2020.
- ISLE-PACT poster (.jpg)
- ISLE-PACT project brochure (.pdf)
- Pact of Islands brochure (.pdf)
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