POWER policy experts and the Regional Correspondents analysed project results and worked together to identify and formulate macro policy recommendations for each theme. Clearly the themes are fundamentally interrelated, and a holistic approach needs to be taken. For each of the themes, micro-level and technical recommendations can be found in the evidence produced by the subprojects.
This section of the report summarises, by theme, some of the recommended actions and policy changes that would make a difference to a region’s ability to achieve a low carbon economy. As the themes are so closely linked, some of the recommendations appear in more than one section. Some of the recommendations are for local and regional authorities whilst others are more relevant to National or EU level policy makers. The important thing is to recognise the multiplicity of actors involved and the different levels at which policy changes are necessary.
Policy Recommendations - Cross cutting
Using the thematic policy recommendations as a starting point, POWER policy experts formulated some cross cutting policy recommendations for local and regional authorities.
- Review and, where appropriate, change the focus of performance indicators and metrics used within your authority so that environmental data is monitored and valued as much as economic data across all areas of policy and service delivery
- Across all policy areas recognise that a move to a low carbon economy has a positive impact on the economy and society, as well as the environment
- Integrate better social, economic and environmental activity through more joined up policy work – get different service areas to work together when reviewing policies
- Seize the opportunities presented by a low carbon economy: use economic development policies to support businesses to re-orient to the green market and new green businesses to grow
- Within your procurement policies use purchasing power to make changes – make procurement decisions based on triple bottom line, not just cost (economic, social and environmental cost through a product’s full lifecycle)
- Capitalise on the unique ability of a region to facilitate stakeholder cooperation. Bring agencies together to work on the low carbon challenge – integrate this into your region’s long term planning and vision
- Make use of education and youth policy areas – for example schools are a wonderful place to promote change in the next generation - use the influence of children on adults
- Foster a sense of ownership: make stakeholders into shareholders to jointly own the solution – when reviewing or developing new policies use co production techniques
- Use a common language across all policy areas for all parties to understand, backed up by evidence and examples
- Use local and regional authority events to give civil society opportunities to experience green products and services. Demonstrate rather than lecture
- Use IT and social media tools to communicate and evaluate service delivery and policy work. Make sure they are open source and accessible on all platforms
- Within communications policy, target different sectors such as construction and agriculture with adapted training and guidance on energy efficiency, and sustainability
- Understand that good results come from good processes. Be conscious about working methods that create success
- Consider developing Climate Agreements to pin down commitments to CO2 reduction across policy areas
- Link in with existing long term movements and initiatives, such as LOCARE, the Covenant of Mayors. Make use of their models and good practices.