UBC’s Executive Board met in Kristiansand

UBC Executive Board meeting in Kristiansand

UBC’s Executive Board met 15–17 February in the beautiful city of Kristiansand, Norway. On the agenda was among others UBC’s General Conference in Växjö 24–27 October 2017, UBC Commissions’ action plans for 2017–2018, implementing EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the initiative made by the municipality of Kristiansand on reductions in emissions by making shore power available for cruise ships.

Greener seas by shore power – call for international regulations

Making shore power available for cruise ships will result in significant reductions in emissions. One single cruise ship is equivalent of the energy usage of approximately 1500-2000 standard Norwegian apartments which is not sustainable considering the amounts of Sulphur and other emissions. However, there are some major challenges to overcome before shore power will be mainstream technology in the cruise industry. First and foremost the challenges are related to a lack of international standards and regulations.

– At the moment, we do not have common regulations that the cruise ships need to follow while on shore. Instead of using their own diesel aggregates, cruise ships should connect to the harbor grid. This is a global issue. Municipality of Kristiansand is now making an initiative to the EU for the development of international regulations in Northern Europe. In order for us to achieve this, the cities and municipalities need to stand united – through the Union of the Baltic Cities, says Jørgen Kristiansen, Vice Mayor of Kristiansand.

The Executive Board of Union of the Baltic Cities underlines the importance of green energy and reduced emissions within the cruise industry. The Board recommends the development of international regulations and framework concerning the implementation of shore power to cruise ships within the Baltic Sea, English Channel, North Sea and the Norwegian Sea.

– I wish to thank municipality of Kristiansand for the initiative. In current cities there are tight networks of harbors, and it is important to address this issue. Now we can participate in this undertaking through political initiatives and make better air quality a reality in our harbor cities, states Per Bødker Andersen, President of the UBC.

TF on Youth Employment and Well-Being starts cooperation with the EUSBSR PA Education Flagships.

UBC cities have developed new forms of cooperation with the Baltic Sea Flagship projects and also started to plan new projects together. Good examples are Mentoring and Support for the Refugee Youngsters projects, which include partners from Finland, Sweden, Poland and Latvia.

UBC's Executive Board decided that the Task Force on Youth Employment and Well-Being can start cooperation within the EUSBSR PA Education flagship process called 'School to Work' (S2W) and encourage UBC member cities to participate in the process. The Flagship S2W is coordinated by SALAR (Swedish Association for Local Authorities and Regions), Stockholm.

S2W has two knowledge platforms: Knowledge Platform on NEETs that is coordinated by the Norden Association (Sweden) and Knowledge Platform on Early School Leaving, coordinated by City of Turku Education Division. The knowledge platform’s main idea is to support projects and other development work among the main target group youth at risk of dropping out from education and labour market.

UBC’s General Conference to be held in Växjö, Sweden, 24 –27 October 2017

In 2017, UBC’s XIV General Conference will be held in Växjö, Sweden, on 24 –27 October. The four-day conference will host prominent speakers across the Baltic Sea Region as well as elect UBC’s President and Vice-Presidents for the next two-year period. Invitations and more information will be sent to the UBC cities at the earliest convenience.

Next meeting of the UBC’s Executive Board will be in June in Berlin, in conjunction with the next EUSBSR Strategy Forum. Further information will follow.

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