May 23-24th, 2012, ZECOS Consortium Meeting in Northamptonshire (UK)

Northamptonshire County Council hosted the second Consortium Meeting of the European Interreg Project ZECOS on 23-24 May 2012 at Northampton Rugby Football Club, Franklins Gardens, Northampton.

The 11 project partners were represented by 26 delegates from all four participating countries- Germany, Belgium, Ireland and the UK. The focus of this meeting was on greenhouse gas accounting and local community experiences with collection of data. Appropriate greenhouse gas methodologies are critical to the development of an accessible community zero carbon certification system, one of the core aims of the project. Much of the initial work has been in reviewing existing methodologies and assessing how they might apply to the community context. In order to inform the development of the zero carbon certification system and also to produce an energy masterplan, data collection is critical. It became apparent at the meeting that the availability of data and the means of collecting it varied considerably between countries. This was a valuable learning point that stimulated the further development of a practical methodology that will be flexible enough to be adopted by communities throughout North West Europe.

The ZECOS project has been given the full support of the Council, and Councillor Ben Smith, Cabinet Member for the Environment, who attended the event, said, “This has been a fantastic opportunity to showcase the work of the Council and our partner organisations on a European platform. The importance of international collaboration to address the challenges of climate change is tantamount to success and the county should be proud and pleased to be part of this project. It will be fascinating to see what impact ZECOS will have at local, national and international levels.”

Whilst the delegates worked intensely over the course of the two days, there was some respite with a very interesting tour of the rugby club. It was surprising to many how much highly professional training, technology and also good sportsmanship lies behind what to some appears quite a rough sport. If we can bring such a level of focus, dedication, organisation and teamwork to the ZECOS project, it is destined to be a success.

The following consortium meeting was set to be in Seraing, Belgium, in October.