Contribute to the Climate Star 2014
On 2nd October 2014, we want - on invitation of the Federal State of Lower Austria - to award again cities and municipalities for their local climate protection activities with a Climate Star. The Climate Star honours outstanding actions and measures, and documents experience and success at local level. All Climate Alliance members can apply with a climate protection project of their city or municipality until 31 May 2014. You will shortly receive the application documents.
New Climate Alliance members
We cordially welcome our new members. The following local authorities have joined Climate Alliance: from Austria the municipalities of Bludesch, Gaming, Kleinzell i.M., Sonnberg i.M., St. Wolfgang i.S., Waldegg and Zwettl an der Rodl, from Germany the region of Beeskow, the municipalities Höchberg and Ingelheim as well as from Italy the municipality Monte San Vito. The cities of Daruvar and Križevci are the first members of Climate Alliance in Croatia. Welcome! Presently (January 2014) 1640 cities, municipalities and districts as well as 59 provinces, NGOs and further organisations from 24 countries are members of Climate Alliance.
List of members
Climate Alliance responds to draft State Aid Guidelines
Climate Alliance responded to a public consultation on the "Draft Guidelines on Environmental and Energy State Aid for 2014-2020". The response strongly argued that the draft State Aid Guidelines are not in line with the energy transition process in which citizens and local authorities are leading the way. The proposals included in the draft State Aid Guidelines can be seen as another attempt to preserve “old energy infrastructure” based on centralised fossil fuels and nuclear, threatening small scale energy production with renewable energy, in particular community energy projects.
Updates on the 2030 framework on climate and energy policies of the EU
The Communication on the 2030 framework on climate and energy policies was launched end January showing Europe’s ambition for the next decade. But instead of seizing the opportunity to affirm the urgency for Europe‘s energy transition, the Communication puts EU’s climate and energy policy on hold. A positive and strong signal on the same issue came from the last plenary session when the European Parliament voted on three binding targets for renewables (30 percent), energy efficiency (40 percent) and greenhouse gas emissions (at least 40 percent from 1990 levels) by 2030. Climate Alliance fully endorses EP’s vote and continues to lobby for binding targets which provide a clear policy framework and provide security of policy continuity. You can also now access the Portfolio of examples online at highlighting the importance of local action not only in emission reduction, but also in light of local green economy and in creating local jobs.
Teaming up for Change - How to master the local transition
Climate Alliance International Annual Conference and General Assembly
7 - 10 May 2014 in Luxembourg
Resource conservation, rainforest protection and the full diversity of fair and regional business practices – tailored to local potential – include new approaches to participation and involvement of citizens and local actors. The aim is resilience, which means local authorities in Europe and the indigenous partners in the Amazon are more resistant to and better able to cope with global crises, or at least to mitigate their consequences. These strategies include energy conservation and use of renewable energy to reduce dependence on energy imports and to create local jobs, but also new models of consumption based on exchange and personal contribution to the community, as well as integrating adaptation to unavoidable climate change into work on climate protection. The city of Luxembourg and Climate Alliance invite you to an annual conference full of inspiration, practical experience and intensive discussions about how cities and communities can act as the motor for change. We are looking forward to meeting you there!
RES Champions League - Award Ceremony 2014
25 June 2014 in Brussels, Belgium
For the fifth time winning cities and municipalities of the RES Champions League will be awarded. After Dunkerque (2010), Prague (2011), Rome (2012) and Kassel (Germany, 2013), Brussels has now the privilege to host the ceremony and reveal this year's inspiring and leading local authorities. The ceremony will take place on 25 June during the European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW).
Mayors Adapt - the new EU initiative on adaptation to climate change
The new ‘Mayors Adapt’ initiative will invite local authorities to show leadership in climate change adaptation and support them in developing and implementing local adaptation strategies. The ‘Mayors Adapt’ is initiated within the framework of the Covenant of Mayors initiative and aims to show the benefits of taking integrated action on mitigation and adaptation. The European Commission, DG Climate Action, has contracted a consortium, composed of Climate Alliance, Ecofys, Fresh Thoughts and IFOK to design this new initiative. The Mayors Adapt will be officially launched on 19 March 2014 by EU Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, in Brussels. A symbolic Signature Ceremony with participating cities is planned for June 2014.
SEAP_Alps – newsletter released
From launching the online training platform to the presentation of the new action tool a lot has happened in the past few months at SEAP_Alps. This newsletter edition also features numerous pilot activities carried out in the Alpine municipalities of the project regions. The EU project SEAP_Alps deals with issues of municipal climate mitigation and adaptation to climate change with a particular emphasis on the Alpine region. The project addresses in particular local authorities that are interested in joining the Covenant of Mayors. For this purpose, a supporting tool for developing sustainable energy action plans with an Alpine-specific approach has been developed.
100%-RES-Communities and the Covenant of Mayors
Climate Alliance and Climate Alliance Austria are involved in the “100% RES Communities” EU project which encourages rural towns to join the Covenant of Mayors and develop sustainable energy action plans. In the last month the project partners conducted a ground investigation on the instruments of the Covenant of Mayors, involving more than 200 key actors including mayors, municipal planners and representatives of local development agencies in rural municipalities. Read in the second project newsletter about the results and further topics as energy projects in rural areas and the RES Champions League.
Amazonia Conference and COICA Congress
In December 2013 the 2nd Amazonia Conference of COICA (Coordinating Body for the Indigenous Peoples Organisations of the Amazon Basin) took place in the Colombia. Representatives of the indigenous peoples of the neighbouring countries of the Amazon region reported on current threats such as major infrastructure projects in the framework of IIRSA and agreed common positions on issues such as an indigenous REDD approach. Also guests from governmental and non-governmental institutions were invited, including Thomas Brose as representative of Climate Alliance. Following the Conference the Congress of COICA took place, where the Steering Council was newly elected. General Coordinator Edwin Vásquez of AIDESEP in Peru was confirmed. The new Area Coordinator for Climate and Biodiversity is Jorge Furagaro of the OPIAC in Columbia. Therefore Jorge Furagaro will succeed Diego Escobar also as representative of COICA in the Executive Board of Climate Alliance.
Peru approves gas project, spells disaster for uncontacted tribes
Peru has approved the highly controversial expansion of the Camisea gas project onto the land of uncontacted Amazon tribes – despite international outrage, the resignation of three ministers, and condemnation by the UN and international human rights organizations. Peru’s Ministry of Culture, tasked with protecting the country’s indigenous population, has approved plans by oil and gas giants Pluspetrol (Argentina), Hunt Oil (US) and Repsol (Spain) to detonate thousands of explosive charges, drill exploratory wells and allow hundreds of workers to flood into the Nahua-Nanti Reserve, located just 100 kilometres from Machu Picchu. The project violates Peruvian and international laws which require the consent of any projects carried out on tribal peoples’ land.
Brazil: First step towards removal of illegal loggers in the area of Awá
The Awá, Earth’s most threatened tribe, have triumphed, as loggers and ranchers responsible for the destruction of the tribe’s rainforest in the Brazilian Amazon are being expelled. The first deadlines for the invaders to leave voluntarily expired on 24 February 2014. According to reports by FUNAI, Brazil’s indigenous affairs department, several loggers and ranchers have left the area in the last week and a ground squad is set to remove all remaining invaders by 9 March.
New EU public procurement Directive
The new EU public procurement Directive was voted on 15 January 2014 by a large majority of Members of the European Parliament, after a political agreement reached with the Council of Ministers. The vote puts an end to the revision procedure initiated three years ago by the European Commission. Public authorities across Europe will be able henceforth to make a deliberate choice for Fair Trade products, besides taking into account other sustainability considerations. The new public procurement Directive is expected to enter into force in March 2014. EU Member States will then have two years to transpose it into national law.