Project Details

Title: Regions for Sustainable Change
Priority: 2: Environment and risk prevention
Theme: Natural and technological risks (including climate change)

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Oct 2008 - 31st Dec 2011


Total budget: €2,099,980.64
ERDF contribution: €1,661,380.72

Lead partner

The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe
Ady endre ut 9-11
2000, Szentendre

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Ms. Venelina Varbova; Project Coordinator
      Phone: +36 26 504 000
      Fax: +36 26 311 294

Project summary

The Regions for Sustainable Change (RSC) project is a partnership of 12 organisations working together to develop the potential of regional development programmes to stimulate mitigation and adaptation to climate change in order to deliver sustainable socio-economic development. European regions have great potential to contribute to the overall sustainability of growth in Europe through lower emissions, the implementation of innovative climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, and a move towards low carbon economies. At the same time, regions tend to focus on economic growth, and lack concrete reasoning for the integration of climate change issues into their policies and practices, as well as practical tools to help them reach these objectives. The RSC project will address this issue by analysing current regional practices, developing benchmarks, criteria, and indicators for regions,

and preparing a methodological handbook which will guide regions in integrating climate change issues and a move towards low carbon economy into their regional development programmes.

Several RSC partners already have a history of successful cooperation on issues impacting sustainability and regional development programmes. The Interreg IIIC project “Greening Regional Development Programmes” produced a definitive methodology on integrating environmental sustainability into programmes through tools like partnership, networking, Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), greening projects, and using the environment as an economic driver. The RSC project expands this partnership and takes the work further by focusing on climate change and low carbon economies, a critical political and environmental topic which is only just beginning to appear on priority agendas at the regional level.

The RSC partnership will hold three capacity-building/thematic seminars, to provide partners’ staff the opportunity to learn more about the issues and project results, and to transfer good practices between partners. The seminars will also provide a networking opportunity. The project will carry out a macro-economic analysis of three partners’ carbon economies, to identify opportunities for and the costs and effects of moving to a low carbon economy. The project will investigate and compare SEA and sustainability assessment approaches across the partnership, and identify how these tools can best be used to meet the project objectives. The RSC project will also offer partners the chance to carry out pilot actions, such as the preparation of a carbon footprint of regional development programmes. A final conference will disseminate the project results and impacts to the wider European economic development community in 2011.

Project achievements

The RSC partners worked together to develop to stimulate the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change at regional level. Following the baseline assessment of partners’ abilities to address climate change and in assisting the partners to achieve the characteristics of a low-carbon region, the RSC project carries out the following activities:

- develop a set of criteria and indicators for low-carbon regions;

- conduct a macro-economic analysis of three partner regions to identify structural changes required to achieve low-carbon status;

- investigate the use of SEA and sustainability assessment for integrating climate issues into regional planning;

- prepare a methodological handbook;

- hold capacity-building workshops and seminars;

- implement pilot actions to transfer the “low carbon region” development model in practice.

As a first step and following the project start-up in December 2008 the partners worked on the development of the baseline assessment report.

The report examines and evaluates the “Climate Confidence” of the RSC partner regions and provides the foundation for the subsequent activities and outputs. The report identifies the key characteristics of climate confident regions and, through the “Regional Climate Confidence Index” (RCCI), evaluates the RSC partner regions’ positions, strengths and weaknesses in this regard.

In addition activities related to Indicators and Criteria, Macro-economic Analysis, Assessments, Capacity building and Pilot Actions also have started. The work on these tasks is coordinated by working groups launched for each activity. The working groups focused on:

-Indicators and Criteria: The low-carbon Indicators toolkit consists of a fine-tuned RCCI completed with methodology (questions and spreadsheets); an interpretation toolkit; menu of additional indicators; review of literature, case studies and benchmarks.

-Macro-economic Analysis: The tool Prioritisation of Actions for a Low Carbon Economy (PACE)

was designed to help regional low carbon planning and was conducted for the regions of Burgenland (Austria), Marche (Italy) and Cornwall (UK). The PACE tool is a mechanism for comparing a whole range of carbon mitigation measures a region might be considering when moving towards a low carbon economy.

- Assessments: The discussion paper on using SEA as a tool for integrating climate issues into planning was finalized. It was complemented by a guidance part.

-Capacity building: While the 1st RSC workshop/thematic seminar was dedicated to incorporating climate aspects into regional planning, identification of good practices and partners’ sharing of knowledge and experience the topic of the second workshop/thematic seminar was the low-carbon toolkit with its two modules. At the 3rd RSC partners were trained how to use the PACE tool.

-Pilot Actions: Four pilot action reports were carried out and reports were finalized.


The final conference was organised with the aim to summarize findings and lessons learnt with regards to low carbon development on regional level and to present the main outputs developed during the 3 year course of the project.

RSC final publication (online and printed version) summarizes the project results and presents the tools and methodologies developed. The various sections of the handbook cover the basic issues confronting any local or regional authority that is implementing low-carbon measures

As a first step, external communication and dissemination activities included designing of project logo, website, communication strategy, key messages, two project newsletters and leaflet. The project results and achievements were presented at the several international events. Sixth newsletter was prepared, translated and disseminated. Partners organized workshops to promote the project in their regions. A project video was also devloped.



Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Szentendre HUNGARY Kozep-Magyarorszag +36 26 504 000
Cornwall County Council, Truro UNITED KINGDOM Cornwall and Isles of Scilly +44 (0) 1872 322 608
Debrecen University, Debrecen HUNGARY Eszak-Alfold +36 52 512 921
Regionalmanagement Burgenland Ltd., Eisenstadt AUSTRIA Burgenland (A) +43 (0)5/9010 2431
General Directorate of Environmental Quality, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Environment La Rioja , LOGROÑO SPAIN La Rioja 0034 941 294753
Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, Sofia BULGARIA Yugozapaden +35929405507 or 575
Marche Region - Environment and Landscape Department, Ancona ITALY Marche +39/071/8063521
Liguria Region - Environment Department, Genova ITALY Liguria +39-0105485352
LaMoRo, ASTI ITALY Piemonte +39. 0141.532516
Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA), Floriana MALTA Malta (00356) 2290 1315
Community Energy Plus, Camborne UNITED KINGDOM Cornwall and Isles of Scilly +44(0) 1209 614 974
Commune of Wroclaw, Wroclaw POLAND Dolnoslaskie (+48 71) 777-91-02
Cornwall Council, Truro UNITED KINGDOM Cornwall and Isles of Scilly +0044 (0) 1872 322478
Cornwall Development Company, TRURO UNITED KINGDOM Cornwall and Isles of Scilly +44 (0) 1872 322800,uk


As of 31 December 2015, this website is no longer updated. Follow news on interregional cooperation at