Hub Bern: Challenge 2

Accelerating the energy transition

In 2018, Switzerland’s per capita greenhouse gas footprint was around 13 tons of CO2 equivalents – which is well above the average of EU countries. The required shift from current modes of production and consumption to a new, more sustainable energy model must quickly be implemented in order to achieve the Paris Agreement goal. Many, very diverse activities have emerged to target specific domains such as energy production, mobility or housing, but a systematic and participatory approach that addresses all sectors emitting greenhouse gases and includes local stakeholders is lacking. As urban areas and rural regions face very different challenges in achieving the energy transition, technological, social, and financial innovations need to be collectively designed and implemented at the local level.

Bern Region

Photo by: Ramona Michel

Our goal

To implement participatory approaches at different local levels in urban and rural areas and thereby identify and initiate first innovative solutions to accelerate the process toward climate neutrality.

Co-design of solutions and stewardship
  • Key stakeholders from various authorities, local governments, municipalities, and private businesses are working together to identify and co-design innovative solutions suitable for cities and rural areas.
  • First incubators supporting rural areas in reaching climate neutrality were started (CO2-free ski resort, H2 powered lake navigation).
  • A digital participation platform focusing on climate issues was established.
  • The technical feasibility of concrete recycling and economic incentives via creditability of carbon savings were further developed with stakeholders.
  • Six incubators were (e.g. building with regional or own wood, innovative products from hard-to-sell raw wood assortments) started in the Oberland and Emmental regions to achieve sustainable regional forest and wood value chains.
Projects underway

Climate neutral region Oberland-Ost
Support the Oberland-Ost region in achieving climate neutrality

From PlusEnergy Neighborhoods to the PlusEnergy City
Support Bernese cities in achieving a plus-energy balance

Efficient use of biomass potential for energy production
Generate, synthesize, and share knowledge about biomass potential for energy transitions, and mobilize key stakeholders

Regional value chains for forest and wood
Improve the forest and wood value chains in the Oberland and Emmental regions

Circular Economy Entrepreneurs CE2: Promoting the circular economy
Support engagement activities toward a circular economy; organize annual CE2 conference

Substitute raw materials in the circular economy
Generate, synthesize, and share knowledge about material flows and start a first incubator for 100 percent recycled concrete