The leading role that public administration bodies can carry out regarding the reduction of carbon emissions, better management of energy resources and other environmentally impacting factors is essential to encourage individuals, organisations and businesses to play their part.
This leading role can be deployed in a number of ways:
- Showing ambition and engaging stakeholders
Municipalities can do this by showing ambition to exceed national or international targets, involving individuals at the highest level (mayor, council) and supporting stakeholder engagement, by committing to the maximum reduction of carbon emissions, getting recognition as a European Green Capital or a One Planet City and similar actions.
These targets will require explicit strategies and plans to reduce carbon emissions, but they could also highlight other benefits, such as private household savings and better health for the general public, which could be more attractive for most people.
- Leading by example
The public administration body should hold itself to a better standard by embedding such ambitions in its operations and communications, involving staff and guiding performance, implementing best practices on its own properties, supporting the efforts of external organisations aiming at such targets, showcasing successes and sharing experiences with other municipalities.
- Communicating effectively with the general public
Communicating is as important as carrying out the actions. The municipalities can use different means like creating brands around the ambition, publishing brochures and reports, running media campaigns and debates, and displaying Energy Performance Certificates in areas of high visibility.
- Supporting the creation of incentive schemes
Municipalities can access funding sources that are not available to individuals or commercial entities. This can contribute to creating local schemes with better financing conditions.
- Helping to overcome institutional and infrastructural barriers
Municipalities can facilitate policy changes, engage local organisations and support long-term strategies to reduce potential obstacles and streamline the processes that make it possible to adopt energy efficiency and low- or zero-carbon measures.