|Background A fossil fuel free region Visit Kalmar County Partners Contact Media coverage
To reach our goal of becoming a fossil fuel free region by the year 2030 the City of Kalmar in south east Sweden realised that we need help from local inhabitants. To decrease greenhouse gas emissions citizens must contribute by changing their habits and choosing climate-smart goods and services. The City of Kalmar therefore started a project to help citizens succeed.
At City Hall in the City of Kalmar the idea was conceived that a group of so called “test pilots” might provide more information on the obstacles that exist in the daily lives of private citizens that keep them from living climate-smart lives. Making this information available was the goal of the project. The project also gave us the opportunity to test methods for decreasing CO2 emissions to a more sustainable level.
During the Spring of 2007 we began our search for the 12 ’climate pilots’ who, during a period of 12 months would receive 12 challenges connected to the environmental effects of their way of living on a daily basis. Twelve households were chosen and they were a mixed group of families with children and without children, singles, retired persons, households living in rural areas as well as in the city in apartments.
A green gas profile for each family
To facilitate an assessment of present circumstances and have a basis from which to proceed towards change we began by asking the pilots to collect all of their receipts during a period of 8 weeks so that we could produce a ‘greenhouse gas profile’ for each household. The climate pilots were also asked to establish goals for themselves as regards the decrease in energy consumption that they intended to aim for and hope to see realized at the end of one year.
The 12 Challenges
During one year the 12 climate pilots were given 12 challenges within the following areas: food, transportation/travel, energy and other consumption.
The climate pilots received personal advice and guidance during the year from energy and climate-control advisors and from certain experts that were tied to the project in order to be able to provide answers to more advanced questions, for example those dealing with food and transportation.
The climate pilots have also had the opportunity to test new products and have among other activities been able to test-drive environmentally friendly vehicles and been given instruction in ”eco-driving” techniques. Beyond the advantages of living a climate-smart life the climate pilots have also saved money through more efficient consumption of energy and have improved their own health through changes in life-style such as increased cycling and walking and leaving the car at home!
The result - minus 53 ton greenhouse gases
Kalmar’s twelve Climate Pilots reached the goal line in spring 2009. On an average they have decreased their emissions by a third, 32%. This means that together they have achieved a reduction corresponding to 53 tons greenhouse gas that would have been produced during one year taking into account each member of each household.
In all of the households the average is now about 4 tons of greenhouse gas (CO2, methane, di-nitric oxide, etc.) per person per year as compared to an earlier 6 tons. On an average the Climate Pilots have almost ‘dieted’ away 2 tons greenhouse gas.
Testing the conditions of life that inevitably will be imposed on us all also challenges the entire municipality and region, providing incentive to reach the goal of ‘fossil-fuel free region’ by the year 2030. Experts agree that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced to sustainable levels, between 0,5 – 2,5 tons per person per year.
Summary of the original project in Kalmar (pdf)
Website (in Swedish only): www.klimatpiloterna.se