From the community

Interview: Alternative Formats for Local and Regional Cooperation

by Samuel Held, GIZ/EUKI

Evi Tzanakis

Evi Tzanakaki coordinates national activities of the BEACON project. Photo: Evi Tzanakaki

The work of the project “Bridging European and Local Climate Action” (BEACON) means “bridging” climate action from home office in these days. For a project with the focus on networking and exchange, the current situation is specifically challanging. We spoke with Evi Tzanakaki from the Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving (CRES) in Greece. Evi coordinates BEACON’s national activities to support municipalities in their climate action activities, profiting from her long-term experience on sustainable energy at the city level and as Covenant of Mayors’ Coordinator

Which implications does the current crisis have for the work in your EUKI project?

In the BEACON project, we have a series of activities in Greece targeted primarily at municipalities. The Covid-19 crisis has resulted in the postponement of most planned activities like coachings, regional workshops and advisory services. We are currently exploring alternative virtual formats as well as training in online event management.

Group picture of the meeting in Agios Dimitrios

Personal meetings with municipal stakeholders are not possible at the moment. The picture with Evi Tzanakaki (center front) was taken during a meeting of the municipalities Agios Dimitrios and Bottrop in 2018. Photo: adelphi

How does the cooperation with your partners work in these days? Which digital tools do you use?

We are working from home. Our coordinating partners are organising a series of online meetings, in groups or bilaterally, for each of the BEACON activities that is affected by the current restrictions. We are in close cooperation with the BEACON partners like adelphi and Navigant for reporting back on the local conditions, planning all future activities for municipalities, and on communication activities.

More about BEACON

Beacon Broschüre

Covid19 resulted in the postponement of many planned activities.

Evi TzanakakiCentre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving (CRES)

The BEACON project cooperates with municipalities and schools. How can you stay in touch in times of Covid19?

At CRES, our BEACON activities involve only municipalities in Greece. We have stayed in touch with all five of them via e-mail and phone, and we have asked them about their availability for online meetings, coachings, trainings, and advisory services. All have expressed their willingness to participate, but things are developing rapidly at the moment and availability is low as people are working in shifts and have other urgent matters to attend to. We expect to have a clearer view of the situation by the end of April.

We have stayed in touch with the municipalities via e-mail and phone.

Evi TzanakakiCentre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving (CRES)

Which consequences expect for climate action in Greece in general?

It is really hard to say. It depends on the developments, particularly after the end of summer, and also on the overall economic conditions. Based on the experiences from the economic crisis in Greece, it could be said that climate action efforts may slow down due to other priorities. However, things may get back in track, particularly through funding and financing programmes for sustainable energy projects. We are optimistic!

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EUKI Secretariat, Samuel Held