Developing EUROPE – Securing local energy supplies
Climate Alliance Annual International Conference and General Assembly
22 - 25 April 2015 in Dresden
Climate action requires local action. This is especially true in questions of energy security and energy supply for which the municipalities are typically responsible. Representatives of local authorities and of national governments, EU institutions, industry and the Amazon region will gather to weigh in on energy security and discuss the key role of cities and towns in the global climate process. Topics such as global climate change mitigation and adaptation, the Covenant of Mayors, renewable energies and the European Year for Development will play a prominent role in this 25th anniversary event of Climate Alliance. Climate Alliance member municipalities wish to send a clear signal from Dresden to the next UN Climate Conference in Paris. Resolutions calling for an EU-wide energy revolution, acknowledging the contribution of local stakeholders in climate protection and reaffirming the self-commitment of Climate Alliance municipalities will thus be on the table.
New Climate Alliance members
A hearty welcome to new members: from Austria the municipalities of Brandenberg, Langenrohr, Leopoldsdorf im Marchfelde and Mortantsch, from the United Kingdom, the City of Oxford – Climate Alliance’s first UK member – from Italy the municipalities of Craco and Pesaro as well as from Hungary the environmental organisation IMRO-DDKK Nonprofit Ltd. as an associated member.
Welcome! Presently (March 2015) 1650 cities, municipalities and districts as well as 59 provinces, NGOs and other organisations from 25 countries are members of Climate Alliance.
List of members
Climate Alliance annual report released
Climate Alliance has just released its annual year-end report. Providing an overview of Climate Alliance activities from spring 2014 to spring 2015, the report also gives readers a glimpse of what is planned for the future. Readers will find feature pieces on hard-hitting Climate Alliance topics such as energy security and ‘developing Europe’ as well as updates on project-related activities, important Climate Alliance initiatives and campaigns, and new opportunities for member municipalities. Digital copies of the report, “Climate Alliance Annual Report and Planning 2014 – 2015,” may be downloaded online the Climate Alliance website. Hard copies will be distributed at the upcoming International Climate Alliance Conference from 22 – 25 April in Dresden and may also be ordered via the European Secretariat <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Download annual report
Mayors Adapt celebrates first anniversary
On 19 March 2015, Mayors Adapt, an EU initiative on adaptation to climate change on the municipal level, celebrated its first anniversary. The initiative, run in part by Climate Alliance, is nested under the Covenant of Mayors and engages European cities in taking action to adapt to climate change. The Mayors Adapt Office, which manages the programme, kicked off its second operation phase in January 2015, which will see a reinforcement of the assistance provided to signatories via the Mayor’s Adapt Helpdesk and a consolidation of concrete results though cooperation with relevant multipliers. Climate Alliance will strengthen synergies with the Covenant of Mayors, developing a robust reporting and monitoring framework for participating cities based on the Covenant of Mayors experience. Additionally, Climate Alliance plans to explore whether the support provided meets cities’ needs and expectations through consultations with a group of practitioners.
Citizens should be at the heart of the Energy Union
The European Commission’ proposals for the Energy Union, presented in a paper on 25 February, aims to bolster the EU’s resilience to supply shortages and provide energy security. Many cities and municipalities are already producing their own energy and taking action for energy efficiency. Climate Alliance calls for a decentralised energy system where citizens are prosumers of energy with a reliable and transparent framework. During the Citizen’s Energy Forum in London, the Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete highlighted the active role of citizens in the new energy system and the importance of the Covenant of Mayors, which shows the potential of local authorities’ taking the energy and climate future in their own hands.
Climate Alliance focuses on climate and energy financing for the local level
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has launched a consultation for its climate financing policies. Climate Alliance answered by pointing to evidence from local examples and barriers that local authorities are facing when it comes to financial instruments, arguing that financing should be more tailored to fit various municipal needs and sizes. The climate and energy targets, as stated in the EU's 2030 Package and 2050 Roadmap, should be supported throughout the whole EIB portfolio of investments and financing opportunities in a consistent and systematic manner. See Climate Alliance’s response to the consultation:
SEAP_Alps closing event after three years of supporting Alpine municipalities
On 23 March, the SEAP_Alps project celebrated its finale, looking back on three years of supporting Alpine municipalities. In the field of municipal planning for climate mitigation and adaptation, learning from the experiences of others working in similar conditions can be extremely valuable. Since 2012, SEAP_Alps has facilitated the elaboration of Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) in the framework of the Covenant of Mayors for over 60 small and medium-sized Alpine municipalities.
In the words of Joachim Lorenz, President of Climate Alliance, “The SEAP_Alps project combines measures related to climate change mitigation and adaptation and thus responds to a challenge that is of great relevance in the Alpine region.” He went on to emphasise the unique linkage the Covenant of Mayors creates between the European and local level. “The Covenant is a milestone in the political work of Climate Alliance and other municipal networks that lends recognition of municipal efforts in the achievement of the European climate targets.”
100%-RES-Communities – Guideline for rural areas
“Steps towards 100% renewable energy at local level in European regions” is the title of the newly published guidelines coming out of the EU-funded 100%-RES-Communities project, of which Climate Alliance was a partner. The guidelines lend themselves especially to smaller, rural municipalities seeking to create a 100% renewable energy region jointly with neighbouring municipalities. The work provides concrete examples and approaches, drawing from the results of ten rural pilot regions across nine countries involved in the development and implementation of joint sustainable energy action plans.
Green ProcA: Free support for local authorities
The Climate Alliance Resolution “100% Ecological, Social and Public Procurement” advises all member cities and municipalities to do everything in their power in order to formulate 100% of their tenders in an ecologically and socially sustainable manner by 2020. Information about Green Public Procurement can be obtained through the Green ProcA project. Besides information for purchasers, the project offers free consultations and training sessions. Municipalities can benefit from free assistance in the tendering process, in the evaluation of the tenders and in the use of the life cycle cost calculation tools. If you are interested or want to know more about the project, please visit the Green ProcA website:
Municipal action plans for e-mobility
Only a few months after its kick-off, the European project Emobility Works can present its first results. A series of factsheets provides an overview of the most important instruments to promote e-mobility in the nine participating countries. Next steps are to create local networks of municipalities and enterprises to boost e-mobility and to support the development and implementation of municipal action plans, elaborating innovative business services such as vehicles or recharging stations and financial schemes to support them.
If you are interested, please get in touch with one of the contact points:
App makes energy revolution visible throughout Europe
repowermap is an interactive online map that promotes renewable energies and energy efficiency on the local level by highlighting concrete examples in everyone’s neighbourhoods. Local authorities and their citizens are at the forefront of climate action – repowermap makes their efforts and achievements visible. repowermap is now also available as app for iOS and Android. The app enables users to upload good examples and find them on the go. As of early 2015, nearly 60,000 installations across Europe were on the map.
CITYnvest: a promising start
Climate Alliance’s is happy to announce the launch of CITYnvest, which will build capacities in cities for innovative financing instruments to trigger energy efficiency investments in building stock. The project, coordinated by Climate Alliance, was kick-started at the end of February when all consortium partners gathered in Brussels. Three pilot regions, Liège (BE), Murcia (ES) and Rhodope (BG), are now to develop concrete action plans and wide-scale capacity building programmes will be set up in 10 focus countries. Climate Alliance members will be invited to various workshops coming out of this effort and will benefit from the guidance materials produced, such as comparison of business models, step-by-step guides, inspirational case-studies and match-making forums. A web-based platform, currently under development, will also be accessible by members. Climate Alliance members are invited to inform us about any experiences with financing instruments for energy efficiency measures, in order to include these examples in the analysis work.
Contact: Elise Steyaert, email@example.com
Report released – REDD: A gallery of conflicts, contradictions and lies
A new report published by the World Forest Movement has now been released. Summarising the reports from 24 REDD projects or programmes, the report comes to the conclusion that they all have one common feature: they all show a number of structural characteristics that undermine forest peoples’ rights, or fail to address deforestation. The report takes a critical look at offset projects, recognising that they all fail to address the climate crisis because, by definition, offset projects do not reduce overall emissions: emission reductions claimed in one place justify extra emissions elsewhere. The report calls for steep overall reductions, particularly in industrialised countries. Completely in line with the Climate Alliance position, it concludes that offsets, by definition, cannot help achieve our climate goals – they are simply a distraction.
Indigenous Peruvians win Amazon pollution pay-out from US oil giant
Members of the indigenous Achuar tribe from the Peruvian Amazon have won an undisclosed sum from Occidental Petroleum in an out-of-court settlement after a long-running legal battle in the US courts. They sued the company in 2007, alleging it knowingly caused pollution which caused premature deaths, birth defects and damaged their habitat. The case was initially dismissed in 2008 when the federal district court agreed with Occidental Petroleum that the case should be heard in Peru rather than Los Angeles, the plaintiffs successfully appealed to overturn this decision, and the US Supreme Court refused to hear the company’s arguments in 2013. The funds provided by the company through a trust will be used for health, education and nutrition projects run by a collective of five Achuar communities that filed the lawsuit. All come from the Corrientes river basin in Peru’s northern Amazon. A delegation of the Climate Alliance visited the region in 2004 and learned to know the impacts of oil extraction on the Achuar communities. With its Legal Aid Fund Climate Alliance has promoted the legal support of the communities.
Peruvian sues German firm in historical environmental case
For the first time in Europe one of the biggest polluters and contributors to climate change is to pay for its climate debts. Peruvian Saúl Luciano Lliuya is suing German firm RWE in the first legal case of its kind in which a European entity is being held responsible for environmental damage caused in a foreign country. Lake Palcacocha is swelling with glacial melt and there is scientific evidence to prove that the RWE brown coal prodution is responsible for decades of this climate change distress. Peruvian Lliuya filed a legal complaint demanding compensation from the German energy giant for the melting of glacial mountains in the Ancash region of Peru. Living just below Lake Palcacocha, overflowing waters have forced Lliuya and others to be displaced from their homes.
Deforestation increases dramatically
The rate at which tropical forests were cut, burned or otherwise lost from the 1990s through the 2000s accelerated by 62 percent, according to a new study which dramatically reverses a previous estimate of a 25 percent slowdown over the same period. That previous estimate, issued by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) Forest Resource Assessment, was based on a collection of reports from dozens of countries. The new estimate, in contrast, is based on a University of Maryland analysis of vast amounts of Landsat image data that directly record the changes to forests over 20 years.
Stolen Goods: The EU’s complicity in illegal tropical deforestation
Previous studies commissioned by the EU have shown that the EU has been leading the world in imports of ‘embodied deforestation’ in the form of agricultural and timber products. This study goes a step further, by showing that the EU is also one of the largest importers of products resulting from illegal deforestation. The study estimates that in 2012, the EU imported 6 billion euros worth of soy, beef, leather and palm oil which were grown or reared on land illegally cleared of forests in the tropics – almost a quarter of the total world trade.
2015 European Sustainable Energy Week
15 to 19 June 2015 in Brussels and across Europe
Climate Alliance would again like to encourage its members to take part in the European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) by organising an Energy Day and applying for the Sustainable Energy Europe Awards or attending one of the hundreds of events set to take place during the entire month of June.
World Summit Climate & Territories
1 and 2 July 2015 in Lyon, France
France will host the next UN Conference on Climate "Paris Climat 2015", where the States are expected to reach an agreement towards a new, universal and legally binding climate regime, able to limit global warming below 2°C. The World Summit on Climate & Territories hosted by the Rhône-Alpes Region will be a major milestone for dialogue and collective work in the run up to Paris Climat and the UN General Assembly where the Sustainable Development Objectives will be decided, next September in New York. A series of thematic workshops will be proposed in Lyon – including one on "Forest" organised by Climate Alliance and WWF.