The sun shines brightly in the capital of Xaxado. In the backlands of Pernambuco, in Serra Talhada, the star king, who once symbolized difficult times, today also symbolizes hope and the opportunity for a new form of development.
Its more than 80 thousand inhabitants and 25 thousand daily visitors are witnesses of the potential of the city, which has been positioning itself as a reference center in health, education, commerce and services. And climatic conditions strengthen this potential by providing the possibility to convert the powerful solar incidence into energy.
There are two main branches that benefit from the climatic characteristics of the sertão: wind energy and solar energy. But, although the sun is an abundant resource, it is still little explored. A scenario that takes the first steps towards change.
The long-term vision of the municipality of Serra Talhada is to become a reference for sustainable, clean, safe, accessible and resilient energy to the effects of climate change that may occur. And so, able to provide greater quality of life for its inhabitants.
The first step to enable those expectations was the accession in 2018 to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, the largest global alliance of cities and local governments voluntarily engaged in the fight against climate change. In 2020, advancing the commitment assumed, the municipality prepared its inventory of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, an important step in the construction of actions and policies to tackle climate change.
From 2018, the municipality adopted a series of steps to contribute to the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions through mechanisms for energy efficiency, reduction of environmental impacts, promoting the production chain and environmental education to encourage the use of renewable energy sources.
The first initiatives seek to save resources combined with sustainability. The Brazilian Association of Municipalities (ABM) estimates that public lighting expenditures correspond to between 3 % and 6% of the municipal budget, and of this total, the largest expenditure is generated by installations in public areas: streets, avenues and squares. And this is where the practical and visible work for everyone started.
The process of replacing incandescent or fluorescent mercury lamps with LED lamps was the starting point and should extend until replacement of the entire public network. The alternative is effective in saving energy, has greater security for the population and also helps to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, CO ². In the list of benefits, this process also promotes the generation of new jobs. These advances were designed and implemented through intersectoral work involving managers and technicians from the departments of Public Services, Planning and the Executive Branch.
Making public buildings more efficient is also part of the list of actions. And it began to be held with the change d the administrative center for a building with more efficient architecture in terms energy. Now, 11 municipal bodies enjoy a space where there is the largest natural wind circulation, the which reduces cooling costs, and increased incidence of natural light, reducing lighting costs. In addition, these agencies focus on a single area also secured annual savings of R$ 180 thousand with rent.
In addition to these initiatives, other actions contribute to tackling climate change. For example, the Municipal Urban Arborization Plan, developed in partnership with the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco and the State Prosecutor’s Office and launched in 2019. It is the first in the Northeast to adopt the exclusive use of native Caatinga species for urban afforestation.