The 1st year of the Climate Plan in the Abigensians territory (PAB), France

Cordes, France : an Inter-communal school with high energy performance instead of two old schools whose energy costs were too high
Publikoval(-a) Isabelle Meiffren dne 15.03.2013

What lessons learned from the evaluation of SEAP conducted on rural areas? The example of the Albigensian territory (57 000 inhabitants) in France.

Lessons learned from SEAP evaluation

The Monitoring Committee was almost full for the balance of the first year of implementation of the Action Plan of the "Albigensian territory" (PAB). One year is short and yet it is sufficient to record tangible results. Through the provision of communes with a shared energy advisor (an expert who responds at request), a good third of them have to date a diagnosis of energy consumption of their buildings and public lighting and energy accounting.

Most municipalities have committed or planned work while the PAB is responsible for finding co-financing.

For Emmanuel David, responsible for the coordination of Climate Plans Midi-Pyrénées National Agency for Environment and Energy Management (ADEME) and as partner of the territory, “the PAB has included some actions - and in particular the shared energy consulting -needed to be supported by upstream training. The Region went on to introduce the standard in town halls”. There still remains the difficulty of the transition to the work stage!

For Sylvain Cals, Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Climate Energy Plan "fear of starting work in these times of budgetary constraints paralyzes mayors and councilors. Yet it is precisely because we are in a time of crisis we need to invest in energy savings. Climate Plan pushes us to extract a management vision, daily. This is something new for us, elected rural communities face difficult realities. I accepted to take over the running of this program although I had no knowledge on these topics. I could not imagine how exciting it would be to bring together actors from all backgrounds on a theme foreign to many of us. I did not imagine that we could build relationships of trust across our great region”.

So much so that to some observers, the Climate and Energy Plan has become the backbone of all policies developed by the PAB: urban, agriculture, housing,...

The other "success story" of the region is to have convinced politicians of the need for ways to advance the system: 2 people working full time only on the Climate Plan: a facilitator and shared energy advisor, while still in the region, the people in charge of the "housing policies" and the "promotion of short circuits" have fully integrated the objectives of the Climate Plan in their programming.

Finally, Energy and Climate mobilises 3 full-time employees in an area of 57 000 people.


The Action Plan of the PAB is built around six issues:

  • The renovation of heritage buildings and private houses (the territory has a lot of old rural buildings which are real energy sieves)
  • The development of renewable energies with a doubling of current production by 2020
  • Reducing the use of cars, including single occupant cars.
  • Integration of climate and energy issues in other policies (planning, agenda (s), 21 ...
  • Observation of climate change locally, a very practical issue of pedagogy,
  • Reducing emissions of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.

Highlights of the SEAP of the PAB territory

Year 2005

  • Programme Leader +: a study on the structure of the wood industry on a scope that includes the territory of the PAB. This study was the first opportunity to raise awareness of the strengths (and limitations) of wood energy.

Year 2006

  • Creation of the mission specifically dedicated to the theme Energy / Climate. Hiring a territorial facilitator

Year 2007

  • Awareness raising / training for elected officials and technical staff on climate change
  • Coordination by the region, of a survey of energy consumption. This survey concerned 200 buildings spread over the nine communities of communes. Each building has its "energy + lighting label" and recommendations. These diagnostics were indicative of the range of energy saving mobilized for the communes elected officials.

Year 2009

  • Survey of the communities regarding the levers or problems they identified as acting on energy and climate. This survey confirms that the stakes are perceived on the ground, and a climate plan process can be initiated.
  • Launch of the consultation process the Climate Energy Plan by a public meeting (140 people) and the creation of climate Club.

Year 2010

  • Finalisation of the action plan, validation by municipalities and by the Regional Office.

Year 2011

  • 2011-2013 Action Plan was approved in January 2011.

Octobre 2012

  • Regional Declaration, on behalf of its community members to join the Council of Mayors for a Sustainable Energy.

Territorial political support

The PCET is relayed in each Intercommunity by a binomial referent consisting of an elected member and a technician.

A steering committee (also called monitoring committee) is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Plan. It includes 80 participants from all backgrounds. It meets twice a year.

Emblematic decisions

Climate Plan is sponsored by Serge Planton. GIEC member, Head of the Climatic Research Unit at the Research Centre of Météo-France, he gave evidence of scientific at the awareness meetings. This sponsorship has legitimized the actions of elected officials, and enhanced awareness of the Climate Plan.

Mobilization of the population, involvement of employees

It was assured by the " Climate Club ", a structure for consultation and proposal. Divers representatives of the territories (politicians, inhabitants of the territory, partners, professionals, etc.)., Climate Club was established on the basis of a call for applications. It has participated in:

  • The definition of territorial issues for PCET after reading diagnostics (February 2010): 6 priority issues were identified.
  • The organization of the development of the program of actions action (March-April 2010) through workshops (60 participants in 6 groups).

The Climate club has worked in a tightened time lapse in order not to exhaust the momentum, and widely practiced the "SWOT" method, a method that invites members to project themselves into the future.


The Climate Plan signed agreements for design study, animation, and intervention with socio-professional partners from all backgrounds.

The PAB works in liaison with the 3 other neighboring regions.