New Climate Alliance members
We cordially welcome the new members who joined Climate Alliance on 1st January 2013. These are in Germany the cities of Bad Säckingen and Bocholt as well as the municipality of Haßloch. Furthermore we hail our first member from the Ukraine, the city of Dolyna. Welcome to Climate Alliance!
Presently (January 2013) 1,608 cities, municipalities and districts as well as 57 provinces, NGOs and other organisations are members of Climate Alliance.
Climate Alliance for urban sustainable transport policies in Europe
On 17 December 2012 Climate Alliance submitted its statement to the European Commission’s public consultation on how EU-level actions can best contribute to providing high-quality and sustainable urban transport and mobility in its member states. Climate Alliance calls for more integrated strategies, which take urban planning, but also energy, economy, education, social aspects and environment into account. The European level needs to support local authorities in developing and implementing these strategies and ambitious Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans. In addition, funding should be redirected from road traffic to sustainable modes of transport, both at EU and national levels.
Intelligent Energy Europe programme got green light from the European Parliament
The Industry, Research and Energy Committee of the European Parliament voted end of November on the Horizon 2020 package to be financed under the new long-term budget 2014-2020. Climate Alliance, together with other local government organisations, has been advocating keeping the Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) programme in Horizon 2020. Its opinion was supported by the rapporteur Maria da Graça Carvalho in her report on the specific programme implementing Horizon 2020. According to the voted report, 15 percent of the 6 billion euros dedicated to energy related actions, should go to the future IEE programme.
Communication on energy technologies and innovation – Public consultation
The European Commission has launched a Communication on energy technologies and innovation with an aim of giving a European energy technology perspective to follow-up the Energy Roadmap 2050. The Commission would like to consult on possible energy technology options. We invite you to send your inputs on the consultation by 1 March 2013 to Pirita Lindholm (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The UN Climate Conference in Doha: outcomes and analysis
Was the Doha climate conference a success or a failure? As usual, the assessment depends on the observer’s viewpoint. From Climate Alliance’s perspective, the minor successes achieved in Doha not only constitute a failure but also a step backwards in international climate policy. While the Kyoto Protocol has formally been extended, it now covers just 15 percent of global emissions. As the former pioneer of international climate protection, the EU is merely happy that any compromise could be reached at all.
Read on: http://www.climatealliance.org/climate-convention0.html?&L=0
Franco-German congress: "Energiewende" versus "Transition energetique"
19 and 20 March 2013 in Stuttgart, Germany
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty, Climate Alliance, Energy Cities, the city of Stuttgart and Klimaschutz- und Energieagentur Baden-Württemberg will organise a congress for German and French cities and municipalities to discuss today's energy challenges. Objectives of the congress are developing of a better understanding of the general conditions on both sides of the Rhine, providing suggestions for the processes "Energiewende" versus "Transition energetique" as well as establishing close cooperation between cities of both countries.
Together in Transition – Empowering Sustainability
Climate Alliance International Annual Conference and General Assembly
15 - 17 May 2013 in The Hague, Netherlands
While facing the challenge of climate change and designing a sustainable energy landscape in Europe, the local level has become the driving force for the transition of our energy system. But “transition” means more than just a switch to new energy sources. It includes completely new ways of governance: How to address and involve people? How to make businesses a partner in innovation? How to share power and responsibility and how to come to decisions? Examples of these new approaches are currently popping up in different places throughout Europe.
Two new EU funded projects in the North-South section launched
Content of the project "Local authorities acting for the MDGs: Europe for more development" are the Millennium Development Goals, which should involve municipalities, their associations and networks into development cooperation. Partners in the project are ASTM from Luxembourg (North-South work of the Climate Alliance Luxembourg), Climate Alliance Austria, Reflex in Hungary, Nadace Partnerstvi in the Czech Republic and Focus Center in Romania as well as the cities of Munich and Nuremberg (DE), Ostopovice (CZ), Tirgu Mures (RO) and Nagykanizsa (HU). Partners in the South are organisations in Burkina Faso and India as well as in Peru and Brazil.
In the project "From Overconsumption to Solidarity" Climate Alliance is a partner, the project lead is located by ASTM. In this project the consumption of resources and its social and environmental impacts to the people in the South (for example, our indigenous partners in the Amazon) will be discussed. Core activities are the creation of exhibitions and materials that can be used to work at the local level. As with previous projects, a delegation tour with representatives from member municipalities is scheduled. It will lead to Peru in 2014.
Buy Smart+ online training tool for energy efficient procurement
The Buy Smart+ online training tool, which was developed under the auspices of Climate Alliance, provides detailed information as well as a test for knowledge evaluation for the procurement of energy-efficient appliances and products.
An introductory module addresses the potential energy efficient public procurement, the related policy and legal framework, the procurement criteria and the life cycle costs. In further modules detailed information about the product groups vehicles, household appliances, lighting, office IT as well as building and components are available. With the training material procurers receive a quick insight into the particular product group and can optionally perform their own training. The second part of the training tool consists of a query of knowledge of the individual training modules. Participants can test their knowledge and will then receive a detailed evaluation.
The new project SEAP_Alps deals with the issues of municipal climate mitigation and adaptation to climate change with a particular emphasis on the Alpine region. Together with ten partners from the Alpine region, Climate Alliance aims at supporting local authorities in the development and implementation of sustainable energy action plans and raising awareness on actions related to adaptation to climate change on the local level. Besides Climate Alliance, project partners from France, Italy, Austria, Slovenia and Germany are involved in the project.
Old mines – new energy
That is the motto of the activities supported by the Concerto program of the EU project Remining-Lowex that explores the supply of residential areas in former coal mining areas with geothermal energy from abandoned mines to cover heating and cooling needs in four local authorities: Heerlen (NL), Zagorje (SL), Czeladz (PL) and Bourgas / Cherno More (BG). The system is based on low-energy standards and is supported by integrated construction and energy concepts.
Sápara women in Ecuador
In a new auction round for oil exploration permits the government plans to expand the Ecuadorian oil regions widely. These include areas that had previously been spared by environmental pollution. Many indigenous groups are living in the new exploration terretories. The women's organisation of the Sápara Ashiñwaka has asked Climate Alliance to support them in their legal actions against the invasion of oil companies into their areas. They seek support to finance their travel to Quito and to acquire legal advice.
Oil showdown in the Amazon
In the rainforest of Ecuador another oil field should be developed. The members of the Kichwa tribe living there in Sani Isla resist and now have asked for help to save their home. Four million hectares of the largely pristine rainforest should be opened for oil companies. Subscribe now to the petition of the campaign network Avaaz and support the Kichwa in Sani Isla.
Conflict over coal from Colombia
The 12,000 employees of the largest Colombian coal daylight mine El Cerrejon are negotiating since early December 2012 on a new collective labour agreement. In addition to a wage increase and the inclusion of contract workers, the unions call for an improved health protection and more investments into the environmental protection. The mine El Cerrejon has destroyed nature in a large share of the Guajira Peninsula. Parts of the local, partly indigenous, population are displaced and important sources of income – e.g. fishing – broke away. The remaining residents are suffering from serious health problems due to high exposure to coal dust. In mid-January, the strikes escalated: The negotiators of the unions and their families are being threatened by unknown armed men, and also by telephone.
French Guiana: gold concession in the Amazon National Park
In the middle of the only Amazon National Park in French Guiana, the French Ministry of Industry has issued a gold concession. The residents of the affected municipality of Saül in the rainforest protest against it. Even now, the greed for gold threatens the natural resources in the French overseas region. Thousands of miners dig there through the rainforest and the rivers in search of the precious metal. The ecosystem is destroyed and polluted. To counter this, in January 2012 the authorities set a mining land use plan in force. Therein areas as the Amazon National Park are generally closed for mining. With the issue of the gold concession in the middle of the prohibitive zone in the national park the Ministry of Industry violates not only laws but also torpedoes the years of efforts to curb harmful gold mining in the rainforest.
Open competitions for outstanding local energy and transport actions
The Executive Agency for Competitiveness & Innovation (EACI) is inviting interested stakeholders to participate in this year’s edition of Sustainable Energy Europe Awards and ManagEnergy Local Energy Action Award. Both awards aim to provide institutional recognition and increased visibility to best-in-class sustainable energy initiatives. Deadline for both awards is 8 March 2012.
Energy Efficiency Directive entered into force
The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) has entered into force, as published in the Official Journal of the European Union in December 2012. The next step for the Member States is to present their national indicative energy efficiency targets by 30 April 2013. By the end of June 2014, the Commission will review the progress towards the 20 percent energy efficiency target and assess whether further measures are needed. For the moment, the European Commission is working on 7 interpretation documents aiming to give further guidance on implementing the EED Directive.
Intelligent Energy Europe programme – Priorities in 2013
During this year’s Intelligent Energy Europe Info Day, the Executive Agency for Competitiveness & Innovation (EACI), the European Commission together with selected successful beneficiaries offered insight view on the funding priorities of this year’s call as well as tips on how to apply and write your proposal. The priorities of the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme for 2013 are: Energy efficiency and rational use of energy resources (SAVE); New and renewable energy resources (ALTENER); Energy in transport (STEER) and Integrates Initiatives. These include: Energy efficiency and renewables in buildings, Build UP Skills, Local Energy Leadership (LEL) and Mobilising Local Energy Envestments (MLEI).
EU Sustainable Energy Week – EUSEW
24 - 28 June 2013, local and in Brussels
Whether you are a public authority, an energy agency, a private company, an NGO or an industry association, the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) is the right platform to share your expertise, raise awareness and showcase your successful experiences and projects in the field of sustainable energy. Climate Alliance and the European Commission invite you to be part of the EUSEW 2013. If you want to take part in the high-level Policy Conference on 25 - 27 June in Brussels please register until 28 February. If you organise an Energy Day in your own city, municipality or region during the EUSEW week please sign up until 10 June.
EU must act to combat biopiracy, say MEPs
The EU must combat the "biopiracy" of multinationals that exploit plants with medicinal properties and traditional remedies originating from developing countries but fail to share the profits with indigenous peoples, say MEPs in a resolution they adopted. Biopiracy - the practice of patenting and marketing the use of traditional knowledge and genetic resources of indigenous peoples without authorisation from source countries - can impede the economic progress of developing countries and runs counter to EU development policy goals, says the resolution, which notes that 70% of the world’s poor depend directly on biodiversity for their survival and well-being.
European Citizens' Initiative “30 km/h – making streets liveable!”
The European Citizens' Initiative "30 km/h - making the streets liveable" is on the start line. A million signatures should be collected within one year, by 13 November 2013. The proposal: An EU-wide default speed limit of 30 km/h in urban areas, unless local authorities set other speed limits for certain sections. Such a scheme is simple, effective and inexpensive. Past experiences with speed limit of 30km/h have shown that the number and severity of accidents as well as noise and exhaust pollution decrease significantly.
Covenant of Mayors ceremony – save the date
Monday 24 June 2013 has been confirmed as the date of the next Covenant of Mayors Signature Ceremony which is to take place in Brussels, in parallel to the EU Sustainable Energy Week. High-profile speakers are yet again expected to attend this 4th edition of the Covenant Ceremony, including Presidents of European institutions, EU Commissioners, MEPs, city mayors and other high-ranking officials from the EU, national, regional and local administrations.