Environ Association in partnership with the Institut für Unabhängiges Umweltfragen – UFU (Independent Institute for Environmental Issues in Germany) with the support of the German Embassy in Bucharest, released on Wednesday the 2nd of November,2016, the second phase of the largest European educational project “50/50 – Increasing energy efficiency in educational units” which will develop from November 2016 until March 2018.
The event reunited representatives of the German Embassy in Bucharest, of UFU, of the Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research, representatives of educational institutions that were involved in the pilot project and of those that will be involved in the next stage and also local authorities which support the project.
UFU’s initiative to implement in Romania the project ,,50/50” which is already taking place in over 5,000 schools in Germany and Europe, represents another proof of the support the Federal Republic of Germany offers our country in its efforts to transpose the objectives adopted under the COP21 Agreement held in Paris in December 2015 on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and maintaining global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century compared to pre-industrial period.
Besides the main objective that aims the direct involvement of students and teachers in applying a set of practical measures, an efficient use of resources in order to increase the energy efficiency of schools and to contribute in reducing the carbon footprint, the project also aims to engage local authorities in an active process of information and awareness of the population in terms of concrete measures in the field of climate protection, promoting circular economy and encouraging environmentally responsible behavior at a personal level.
The pilot phase of the project was carried out between October 2015 – April 2016 in six schools in Bucharest, Brasov and Techirghiol that benefited from the program to implement the standards of responsible behavior in terms of efficient use of resources by increasing energy efficiency. Following the implementation of measures to decrease the unnecessary consumption of electricity and energy during weekends and holidays, and applying simple methods for efficient use of resources, a decrease of approximately 10% was observed. The methods for efficient use of resources and energy saving have become part of the daily schedule of students both at school and home .
The “50/50 – Increasing energy efficiency” is the biggest educational project at European level that involves a majority of students, bringing together environmental, economic and social fields and offering a detailed view on the process of production and use of energy, both in terms of economically and ecologically form. “50/50 – Increasing energy efficiency” is a project of active involvement, the content is not teachable and has no theoretical approach, but is a practical project.
The social aspect is emphasized in particular by the subject about the use of energy, consumption behavior and its implementation in the community. Another positive aspect is the possibility for students to know the school from a new perspective.
In order to reach the projects’ goals of changing the perception and behavior of the population in terms of efficient use of resources, it is necessary the active involvement of local authorities in terms of promoting information and practical methods of increasing energy efficiency in the community. In this context, local authorities are invited to join in this endeavor that will benefit from German expertise in implementing concrete measures that translate into decreasing energy bill by simple measures without any other investments.
This project is funded through the Consultative Assistance Program for environmental protection in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia and in other countries neighboring the European Union to the German Federal Ministry of Environment (GPA) and is supervised by the German Federal Ministry of Environment and Environment Agency of Germany (UBA).
*The responsibility for the contents of this press release belongs to the author.