The climate changes related to CO2 emission from combustion of fossil fuels increased more and more in the last 50 years. According to Protocol of Doha, extending the Protocol of Kyoto, the European Union decided 20% (or even more) reduction of CO2 emission levels of 1990 by 2020.
The Covenant of Mayors is a European movement where local/regional authorities, voluntarily commit to increasing energy efficiency and use of renewable energy. In this framework the Istituto di Ricerche sulla Combustione has been called to perform the description and the analysis of the overall scenario of greenhouse gases emissions from urban, industrial and agricultural activities in the reference year 2011 of a covenant of 13 small towns located in Valle Caudina (about 50.000 citizens) area and to propose, on the base of the emissions inventory data, strategies to reduces emissions by 20-30%. The work was carried out in the context of Piani di Azione per l'Energia Sostenibile (PAES).
The inventory of 2011 baseline emissions was done both by a top-down and bottom-up approach and the estimation in the reference year of total CO2 emission was 257.762 ton/year taking into account also other greenhouse gases as methane, nitrogen oxides etc. which were calculated as CO2 equivalent.
Transportation represents the main source of CO2 emission followed by electrical and thermal consumptions and, to a lesser extent, by livestock. This is related to lack of public transports connecting the small towns which involves an overuse of cars. Excluding transports, the energetic consumption are mostly related to domestic/residential sector, Valle Caudina being a poorly industrialized area.
Strategies to reduce greenhouse gases emissions were based on improving energy efficiency of public and private buildings through thermal insulation, promotion of car sharing and substitution of old and polluting cars, promotion of use of bikes, public education campaign etc. Proposals basically aimed at substituting fossil for renewable fuels thus enhancing local production of energy from biomass in order to exploit agricultural and wooded waste which represent a large heritage of the valley have been presented. Among projects proposed one involves the chipping of wooded waste and their use as fuel for heating of school buildings. Others involve collection and use of floricultural waste or animal livestock manure for anaerobic digestion to produce biogas to be transformed into thermal and/or electrical energy.