The project created an ambitious partnership of North Sea regions to explore a comprehensive range of proven and innovative measures, interventions and actions to reduce the carbon emissions of communities, individuals and businesses, through improved energy efficiency. The project demonstrated and evaluated good practice, with outcomes providing models, tools and techniques for transference to other regions within the North Sea.
The project developed ways to promote and increase energy efficient consumption patterns in society, working with communities and businesses to engage and empower them to increase efficiency. This will help meet local/ national/ international targets for greenhouse gas reduction and will lead to on-going reductions in energy use and carbon dioxide emissions.
The Kyoto Protocol commited the EU to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 8% on 1990 levels by 2012. The Green Paper ‘Towards a European Strategy for the Security of Energy Supply' highlights rising energy consumption and increasing dependence on external sources.
The ANSWER project aimed to contribute by reducing energy use. Assisting businesses and communities to develop energy-efficient solutions helped create sustainable communities as the foundation of a successful economy. The challenge was to turn energy-efficient behaviour from the exception to the norm. Raising awareness and generating low-energy behaviour within businesses and communities presented a sustainable solution, embedding the answers within the target population as a means of investing in their future.
Transnational cooperation allowed expertise to be shared to determine, implement and evaluate responses to each obstacle encountered.
Building a body of experience on efficient energy use complemented the North Sea's reputation as a leader in energy production of both fossil and renewable sources. It also complemented developing national/ international legal and financial initiatives.