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Liechtenstein is Europe's top energy country

An outstanding achievement: all eleven municipalities in Liechtenstein have received the European Energy Award. © CIPRA International

All of Liechtenstein's municipalities have now been presented with the European Energy Award. The honour of being Europe's top energy country is a reason to celebrate - and a call for an effective climate policy.
Since November, all 11 municipalities have now been certified with the title of "Energy City", the Swiss version of the European Energy Awards. All of Liechtenstein thus becomes an "Energy Country", ahead of Switzerland which has the second-highest rate (50%) of people living in Energy Cities.
For municipalities to receive the European Energy Award, they must be awarded points in six different categories of measures designed to increase energy efficiency. Certification criteria are revised every four years and made more difficult: while a partial switch-off of street lighting is relatively easy, it is harder to motivate the population to make better use of public transport. This is an opportunity for Liechtenstein as an Energy Country, says Andrea Matt from the Liechtenstein Environmental Society. Municipalities will now motivate each other even when the demands on them are increased. "They are also in competition with one another to get the most points and thus be the first to collect the highest honour, the European Energy Award in Gold."
It is also vitally necessary for Liechtenstein's municipalities to work together towards climate protection: by 2020 the country aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by one fifth. For this to succeed, each inhabitant of Liechtenstein must save 1.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide or, in other words, travel 10,000 kilometres by bicycle instead of by car. By way of comparison, a Swiss would "only" have to cycle 5,000 kilometres to achieve the same goal.
Source and further information : Liechtensteinische Gesellschaft für Umwelt; Volksblatt 28.11.2012, page 3