The Albigensian Territory asks to join the Covenant of Mayors
Albi (France), October 16, 2012: the “Pays de l’Albigeois et des Bastides (PAB) or the Albigensian and Bastides “territory” and villages of the Bacau Department (Romania) formalized their cooperation in the framework of the European Programme 100%-RES-communities in the presence of a Romanian delegation of 15 people, mostly ruraly elected and mayors.
This signature is being followed by another, equally important! The PAB has indeed officially expressed its willingness to join the Covenant of Mayors at the office of the Council of Mayors.
The PAB – 57 000 inhabitants - is now one of the first rural "Pays” of France to join this movement.
“This request, for which I spoke on behalf of our 9 communities of communes (which each include hundreds of small towns), we strongly support” said Didier Somen, President of the PAB “and even beyond compliance, with the targets set by the Council. This request in fact echoes the values of our action plan. During the consultation, we have highlighted the need to create - through Climate Plan – solidarity, both in energy and climate management, between our villages, weakened by the rising cost of energy, rural exodus, and the aging of our populations. This solidarity can not stop at our frontiers. Signing up to the Council of Mayors and accompanying the region of Bacau to do the same, we use this occasion to express this solidarity within a European framework in a concrete way, and more fraternal”.
What is the PAB placing into “the mix” of twinning?
Primarily, their lessons learnt on diagnostic tools and monitoring, the consultation, on the issue of awareness of those elected, on the networking of actors around structuring programs. There are also the lessons of difficulties overcome - not as many as that - and finally, the satisfaction of having succeeded in mobilizing the territory on long-term challenges around a strong objective.
Is observing climate change the way to believe it?
In the countryside, the energy dependence is a handicap in addition to others, especially with regard to mobility. The car is a means of transport almost mandatory; almost every day, the inhabitants of the PAB travel 450 000 km, or 11 times around the earth! Every increase in oil prices has a blow to household budgets (and therefore to the local economy). Since 2008, the energy crisis requires everyone to understand the need to invest in energy. But what about the need to act in the fight against climate change? It is much less obvious in the Albigensian territory than elsewhere.
“Regional maps of vulnerability help us, we alerted our elected officials on the fact that the risk of flooding and landslides seems to have grown in recent years” explains Julien Frat, animator Energy-Climate Plan for the PAB.
Since 2003, the year of the heat wave, 46 communes have swelled the ranks of communes affected by natural disasters (12 so far).
Will we see an acceleration of global warming? To see more clearly, the participants in the development of PCET proposed the establishment of a "local" observatory for climatic change. The observatory collects then maps the changes observed in the field by the citizens: dates of flowering crops, fruit, or other events (droughts, floods, etc.). Another way is to empower people and to remove, if it were needed, the remains of climate-skepticism...