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  EKOenergy Newsletter, issue 33
  8 July 2014
Content

1.  Good first half of 2014, ready for the next
2.  Consumer of the week: Maestro Business Center, Romania
3.  Anita is making a comic about EKOenergy
4.  EKOenergy and British LECs at RECS meeting
5.  New blog post: Volunteering for EKOenergy
6.  European Court about climate change and free movement of goods
7.  For information: the EKOenergy Secretariat moved
 

1.  Good first half of 2014, ready for the next

 
EKOenergy can look back on six good and productive months. New members joined our network, more suppliers signed our licence agreement and we have been involved in activities in more than 10 countries. We selected the first Climate Fund project and we are participating in several river restoration projects.

We are ready to continue the momentum. During the summer we will work on the EKOenergy website: we want to create more space to tell about our new projects and products. Another summer project is a comic about the power of consumers on the liberalized electricity market (see also further, item 3).

France, Germany, Italy and Latvia remain important target countries. On top, we are also expecting helping hands to continue the work in Spain, Poland and the Balkans. At European level, we are looking forward to working with the long-awaited Greenhouse Gas Protcol Scope 2 Guidance.

Looking forward to doing all this in close cooperation with you.

2.  Consumer of the week: Maestro Business Center, Romania

 
The Maestro Business Center is located in the central area of Cluj-Napoca (Romania). The building has been designed as a multifunctional business center with public areas, offices and conference rooms. 

The electricity in the building is now EKOenergy certified. The switch to EKOenergy fits in the owner's ambition to get the LEED certification in the category 'Existing Buildings, Operation and Maintenance'. 

We thank the Romania Green Building Council for their confidence in EKOenergy and for being amongst the first to actively convince local stakeholders to switch to ecolabelled green electricity. 

3.  Anita makes a comic about EKOenergy

 
Anita Zaramella is a comic artist from Venice, Italy. On July 1st, she started a 3 months volunteership at the EKOenergy secretariat. During her stay, she will make a comic about EKOenergy.

How to write an interesting story about the role of consumers, about switching to a green electricity contract and about Guarantees of Origin? That sounds like a challenge. But Anita is ready for it. We'll soon present you the first results.

Feel free to let us know if you want to be involved in the project. 

Click here for Anita's portfolio.

4.  EKOenergy and British LECs at RECS meeting

 
EKOenergy got the opportunity to attend an interesting workshop about the British system of LECs (Levy Exemption Certificates). The workshop took place in Oslo (Norway) on June 19th and was organized by RECS International.

Although the LEC system has shortcomings (such as difficulties to control where the money finally ends up), it also has a lot of interesting aspects. It shows that it is possible to design a coherent system, in which climate policy, tax policy and the voluntary green electricity market strengthen each other. Also noteworthy: LECs are not limited to domestic production.

The following day, we took part in a meeting of RECS International's Advisory Board, where we could both present our own activities and discuss about the RE-DISS project and about carbon accounting.

5.  New blog post: Volunteering for EKOenergy

 
Two of our full time volunteers wrote a blog post about their experiences at the EKOenergy Secretariat and about their life in Helsinki. 

"There is a great variety of tasks to do and we can decide on our own on which aspects we want to focus particularly. Tasks include for example designing leaflets, writing articles or other information texts, contacting stakeholders (electricity suppliers, consumers, environmental NGOs) to evaluate possible cooperations, translations… "

On the same page, we also added 2 YouTube videos about the same topic. CIMO, the Finnish Agency for International Mobility and Cooperation, interviewed volunteer Fabiola Nardò and co-head of the EKOenergy Secretariat Steven Vanholme.

6.  European Court on climate change and free movement of goods

 
Last week, the European Court of Justice took a decision in the so called Ã…land case (C‑573/12). The Court ruled that the EU Member States  are allowed to exclude foreign renewable installations from their subsidy systems. Although such limitations do hinder intra-Community trade, they are justified by "overriding requirements relating to protection of the environment".

The Court confirms that "(...) the increase in the use of renewable energy sources constitutes (...) one of the important components of the package of measures needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to comply with the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and with other Community and international greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments beyond the year 2012."

"As the Court has pointed out, such an increase is also designed to protect the health and life of humans, animals and plants, which are among the public interest grounds listed in Article 36 TFEU."

On our website we give more background information, and we list some of our first thoughts and reflections. Whereas we are happy about the support of the Court for the national climate policies of the Member States, we also hope the judgment won't be used by politicians as an argument to safely withdraw within the national borders. Europe needs efficient and transparent support systems to safeguard a fast transition to a carbon neutral economy. Harmonization and international exchange are in our view logical components of such a system.

7.  For information: the EKOenergy Secretariat moved

 
The EKOenergy Secretariat is hosted by the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (FANC).

At the end of June, FANC moved to new premises and so did the EKOenergy Secretariat.

Our new address is: Itälahdenkatu 22b, 00210 Helsinki, on the Island of Lauttasaari in the southwestern part of Helsinki.
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