Thursday, March 28, 2013

BSR InnoShip roundtable in the Baltic Sea Day, St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg hosted the XIV International Environmental Forum “Baltic Sea Day” on the 20-22nd of March, which gathered over 600 participants from the HELCOM member countries. 

This year a lot of special attention was paid to international projects and initiatives which make input for fulfillment of international commitments. As BSR InnoShip (Baltic Sea cooperation for reducing ship and port emissions through knowledge- & innovation-based competitiveness) has had close and successful co-operation with the City of St. Petersburg in implementing the project actions, this year we had a chance to host an own roundtable session during the Baltic Sea Day.

Mr. Dmitry Frank-Kamenetsky presenting
the emission measurements around
the city of St.Petersburg
The topics discussed concentrated mostly on the main outputs of the project, presenting a cause and effect –chain. The Meteorological Institute of Finland submitted AIS-data about ship traffic and emissions collected between the years 2006-2011, from which it could easily be defined that although the traffic on the Baltic Sea is increasing, it is also highly affected by the dominant economic situation. The actual negative impacts of emissions were discussed on a Pan-Baltic level, but also more regionally by the examples from the measurements around the area of St. Petersburg. Also some new technologies for diesel engine exhaust treatment (e.g. a combined DBD reactor-catalyst assembly) were introduced.

During all discussions in both the Baltic Sea Day and BSR InnoShip roundtable it became clear, that the attitudes towards emission restrictions from shipping are still somewhat different around the Baltic Sea area. Although the IMO regulations are ratified widely, the attitudes vary from east to west – as the western part sees also possibilities in the regulations, the east is more worried about the negative economic influences and modal shift. A more explicit guidance for implementing the regulations is needed from the governmental level especially in Russia.

The St. Petersburg flood prevention facility complex

In connection to a project partner meeting, BSR InnoShip partners also had an opportunity for a site visit at the St. Petersburg Dam. The dam is originally built for protecting the city from storm surges, and it separates the Neva Bay from the rest of the Gulf of Finland. The principles of all functions were presented to us by local employees. The dam also serves other important functions, as there are numerous wastewater treatment plants around the dam for cleaning the water in Neva Bay. As one of the greatest construction projects in Russia, the sight was really impressive.

So, this time the BSR InnoShip partners had the pleasure of enjoying the Russian hospitality and had also a glimpse of the beauty of the city – St. Petersburg is definitely a place to visit!

Author: Mia Hytti, project coordinator, BSR InnoShip project

Thursday, March 21, 2013

European Sustainable Energy Week - Time to display how UBC member cities lead in sustainable energy initiatives

The European Sustainable Energy Week 2013 (EUSEW)  is an event organised by the European Commission that promotes renewable energy and energy efficiency. Every year, hundreds of European municipalities take part by organising their local Energy Day. By doing so, they become part of EUSEW and a European movement, gain visibility for their projects and attract the attention from media. All organisers will receive support in communication from the EUSEW secretariat.
As a city, you can sign up with an event at the Energy Days during EUSEW, which provides citizens of the city a opportunity to learn and discuss sustainable energy solutions in their city as well as putting the city on the European map. By signing up with an event the city:

  • Raise the profile and improve the image of your organisation, town, city or region
  • Become a part of a European movement
  • Spread your sustainable energy technologies and practices 
  • Attract media attention and make headlines
  • Receive additional visibility and support for your event from the EUSEW Secretariat.
To submit your Energy Day, please create an account on the EUSEW website and fill in the application form under ‘Organise an event’.

For more information visit the EUSEW website
Or watch the short introduction video below


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Networking Covenant of Mayors - The Baltic Sea Region Covenant Club video

A new video has been produced where several European Mayors express their endorsement to the European Covenant Clubs where cities that have signed up for the Covenant of Mayors can share and discuss their ideas in order to decrease their cities CO2 emissions by 20pct in 2020.

UBC Commission on Environment hosts the Baltic Sea Region Covenant Club. The club consists of an interactive mailing list where questions can be raised and challenges discussed. The BSR Covenant Club also arranges a series of workshop where specific elements of the obligations within the Covenant of Mayors can be discussed in an open forum. Next event will take place in Tallinn on 12 April in relation to the Joint Commission Meeting, where the overall theme is Sustainable Transport.
You are welcome to join the BSR Covenant Club discussion list or contact UBC EnvCom for further information.