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Three East European cities make energy-efficiency strides

The old city district of Baku, Azerbaijan, may become a car-free zone. (C Gawronski /

While Western Europe is a hotbed of urban innovation, East European cities often seem to be lagging. UNEP in Europe reports that three East European and South Caucasus cities are taking demonstrative steps to save energy — and prove that they too are innovators.

All three are implementing energy projects through an EU-sponsored initiative. And each has signed the Covenant of Mayors, a European pact in which cities make voluntary commitments to increase renewable energy sources, the article says.

Vinnytsia, Ukraine replaced 363 wooden window frames in a school with plastic versions sealed from the elements. The upgrade was part of a broader effort to achieve 20 percent yearly reductions in energy consumption.

Baku, Azerbaijan wants to reconfigure its old city, Icherisheher, into a car-free zone. The neighborhood also is poised to replace bulbs in its street lamps with 600 energy-efficient LED versions.

Balti, Moldova, took a seemingly small step that could have a positive environmental impact. It insulated the walls of a kindergarten with special materials to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change, the article notes. 

UNEP in Europe is the monthly newsletter for the United Nations Environment Programme.

UNEP in Europe

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