In the pursuit of sustainable and environmentally responsible practices, the DeCarb-Pro project emerges as a vital initiative aimed at significantly reducing CO2 emissions resulting from public procurement activities carried out by local authorities (LAs) in North West Europe (NWE). The impact of public procurement on CO2 emissions is striking, with 15% or 230 million tons of CO2 emitted in 2020 attributed to LAs in the NWE region. 

Failing to decarbonize procurement could jeopardize the NWE-wide LAs' ability to meet the EU's ambitious reduction goals for 2030 and align with the objectives outlined in the EU Green Deal.

Green public procurement

The DeCarb-Pro project is a collaborative effort involving 12 project partners from five NWE countries. The primary objective is to decarbonize public procurement, focusing on areas such as infrastructure, construction, and energy, where the most significant reductions can be achieved. Acknowledging the dominant influence of price considerations in public procurement, the project seeks to integrate CO2 pricing into procurement processes. By doing so, LAs will incentivize companies to compete based on both the lowest price and the lowest emissions, thus contributing to a substantial reduction in overall emissions.

Despite the potential benefits, the application of CO2 pricing in procurements is currently limited due to a lack of instruments and knowledge among NWE LAs. To address this gap, the DeCarb-Pro partnership, which includes LAs, energy agencies, city networks, and market partners from all NWE countries, aims to develop and apply a strategic approach for CO2 pricing and procurement. This approach is intended for use by large, medium-sized, and small LAs across the NWE region.

The developed instruments will be tested and validated in pilot procurement projects in the infrastructure, construction and energy sectors. Pilot actions will lead to concrete emission reductions and will act as showcases. Training schemes will be developed and capacity building will enable LAs to commit themselves and execute CO2 pricing in procurements and contribute to reducing their CO2 emissions.

CO2 Performance Ladder sharing experience

The partnership builds on frontrunning experience of Dutch and French project partners on local CO2 pricing and CO2 procurement instruments. Such as the Dutch CO2 Performance Ladder and French I4CE Framework. The partnership develops and supports a CO2 pricing strategy with action plans for Local authorities and NWE-wide mainstreaming of instruments and standards, e.g. within the EU climate initiative Covenant of Mayor.

Climate Foundation HIER is one of the 12 project partners in the DeCarb-Pro project. Further project partners are Klimaatverbond (NL), Climate Alliance (DE), South East Energy Agency (SEEA) (IE), Municipality of Amsterdam (NL), Stadt Essen (DE), City of Paris (FR), Arnhem-Nijmegen Green Metropolitan Region (NL), Strasbourg Eurometropolis (FR), Climate Agency Wiesbaden (DE), Flux50 (BE) and Climate Agency Strasbourg (FR).

Project funding period: March 2023 – December 2026

The DeCarb-Pro project is funded by the Interreg North-West Europe programme.

Want to find out more?

Visit Home | DeCarb-Pro ( or contact Thijs Wentink, [email protected]