Art projection: European Year for Development
18 November 2015 in Brussels
An art projection on the facade of the European Parliament will be one of the highlights of the European Year for Development – organised by Climate Alliance. It will be preceded by a discussion with Parliamentarians on ways to improve the convergence between the post 2015 development agenda and the global climate negotiations.
New Climate Alliance members
A hearty welcome to goes out to our new Climate Alliance members: from Austria the municipalities of Tollet and of Weinburg; from Germany the districts of Segeberg and of Osterode am Harz, the municipalities of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and of Stuhr and the city of Speyer; from Italy the municipality of San Giuseppe Vesuviano as well as the first member in Finland, the Energy Agency EcoFellows. We are thrilled to have you on board!
List of members
Your chance for a resolution upholding municipal autonomy over free trade
The European Union is negotiating a new generation of free trade agreements that may greatly impinge upon your municipality’s ability to pursue climate policies, should these policies be deemed protectionist or contrary to free trade principles. Two main agreements are on the table: the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the USA. Thus far, negotiations have not been transparent and are largely being held behind closed doors, although several of the negotiation documents have now been made public as a result of harsh critique.
At the 2015 Climate Alliance Conference in Dresden, members requested that the European Secretariat distribute a draft resolution on TTIP as a template that can be used for the creation of your own municipal resolutions. In the ‘Members only’ section of the Climate Alliance website, you will now find an explanation of the potential impact of TTIP and CETA for local authorities as well as the resolution agreed by the municipalities of Climate Alliance Luxembourg. We urge you to take action against this agreement by passing your own resolutions, which we, in turn, would be happy to post in the member’s area as examples for other Climate Alliance members.
If you have already passed such a resolution or plan to do so, please get in touch with Thomas Brose at email@example.com and let us know of your plans.
Impressions from the World Summit Climate & Territories
The World Summit Climate & Territories at 1 and 2 July 2015 in Lyon was a great opportunity for major non-state actors to make their voices heard and highlight their crucial role in implementing concrete action to reach the COP21 goals. As one of the summit organisers, Climate Alliance actively contributed to the debate, advocating its members’ messages for the international negotiations. Climate Alliance also organised a workshop on forests and a side event on the global Covenant of Mayors. Here you find the published documents.
Over 1,000 participated in the summit, including elected officials from all over the world. European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres and French President François Hollande made special appearances.
Workshop on forest related challenges: Climate Alliance organised together with COICA and the WWF a very fruitful exchange on the forest-related challenges. “We are the best doctors on earth. We're taking care of natural air conditioning. Help us to save our lives” said Edwin Vásquez, General Coordinator of COICA reporting on the workshop – speech followed by a standing ovation in the plenary!
Side event “The Covenant of Mayors going global”: Organised by Climate Alliance and its partner city networks a lively debate around the current success and future potentials of the Covenant of Mayors took place in presence of the European Commission Vice-President, Maroš Šefčovič, and the Minister for the Environment of Luxemburg, Carole Dieschbourg. Julie Laernoes, Vice-President of Nantes Metropole and board member, presented Climate Alliance members’ proposals on the future of the initiative. “The Covenant of Mayors should include decentralised cooperation as a core element” she stated.
EU-China Urbanisation Partnership Forum 2015
In the China-EU partnership on Sustainable Urbanisation, opened by China’s Premier Li Keqiang and EU President Jean-Claude Juncker, leaders forged key commitments towards concerted action on a number of topics including on cooperating in the fight against climate change. During the event on 29 June 2015 in Brussels Li Keqiang stressed that China is pushing forward the largest urbanisation process in the history of mankind. European urbanisation, on the other hand, has occurred over the course of several hundred years, enabling Europe to gather rich experience on the topic. China affirmed its will to strengthen cooperation in energy saving and environmental protection. In the framework of this event, Climate Alliance also organised a forum entitled, “Covenant of Mayors and New Energy Cities: models for local energy action.”
Climate Alliance and the European Sustainable Energy Week 2015
This year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) from 15 to 19 June 2015 in Brussels kicked-off a flurry of events on a wide variety of energy-related topics, many of which prominently featured the role of local authorities in the EU energy transition and the financing of this transition. Climate Alliance was again at the forefront as organiser of and participant in several discussions on the future of the EU energy system and the Energy Union. Claude Turmes called the globalisation of the Covenant of Mayors “the best thing the EU can do in the run-up to the COP21”. Investment for sustainable energy also got much attention during the EUSEW and innovative partnerships between local authorities and citizens for sustainable energy investments were explored in an event co-organised by Climate Alliance. Climate Alliance also organised an event in the framework of the Covenant of Mayors with the Committee of the Regions on the EU’s Energy Union project and its implementation as well as on financing at the local level.
UNFCCC Executive Secretary supports messages of Climate Alliances members
Representatives from Climate Alliance and member Barcelona Province handed over the eight take-home messages for the climate talks to Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC on 3 June 2015. At a meeting during the climate talks in Bonn, she expressed her support for the recognition of local governments in the Paris agreement that is to be finalised during the COP21 in December.
Working Group on Financing discusses the Juncker plan
The Juncker investment plan was the main topic of the last Working Group on Financing meeting, which gave Climate Alliance members an opportunity to discuss its impact directly with representatives of the European Investment Bank, the Green group of the European Parliament and the CEE Bankwatch. The plan is to become operational during this summer. Participating members got an in-depth review of the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the European Investment Advisory Hub and potential entry points for local authorities. Climate Alliance has carried out substantial advocacy work in regards to the needs of local authorities to access financing and obtain technical assistance to make projects bankable. Constructive actions were decided that will hopefully further influence these policies in the coming weeks. Finally, participants received updates on the CITYnvest and Citizenergy projects, both of which deal with financing climate action. For more information on the Financing Working Group, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Kids on the move for climate action” kick off 2015 in Luxembourg
The first steps for this year’s Euopean-wide ZOOM campaign were taken by children from Luxembourg’s Mamer School at Luxembourg’s 5th national Climate Day. In 2015, the Zoom campaign is being rolled out in 11 European countries. ZOOM engages children in sustainable mobility in a playful way, encouraging them to earn special “Green Footprints” for each climate-friendly trip they make. Thomas Brose, Executive Director of Climate Alliance, called on the children to not only collect Green Footprints, but to also make “wishprints” with their suggestions and demands to climate politicians. These, along with the footprints collected across Europe in 2015, will be presented to the participants of the UN Climate Summit in December, reflective of the children of Europe’s hope for the international adoption of a new and strong climate convention.
Dormagen halves electricity use in street lighting
The City of Dormagen in Germany has achieved within the project Green ProcA energy savings for street lighting of some 50 percent since 2006 by moving to highly efficient bulbs. Dormagen officials expect energy savings to amount to 65 percent over 2006 levels upon completion of its lighting initiative in spring 2016, despite the expansion of its lighting system. The result: a CO2 emissions reduction of 889,442 kg annually. The city’s efforts illustrate just how effective relatively simple measures can be. “Such successes are not uncommon in the area of street lighting,” comments Dr. Andreas Kress, expert for procurement at Climate Alliance. “Switching to LED lighting proves cost-effective and easily replicable, offering local authorities tangible energy savings.”
Read more about Dormagen’s success and Green ProcA.
E-Mobility Works aims to increase electric vehicle use in Europe
Businesses and municipalities have come together through the E-Mobility Works project to push for greater electric vehicle take up in Europe. The EU-funded project will help municipalities to develop e-mobility action plans, and work with businesses to integrate electric mobility into their corporate strategies. On top of boosting the number of electric vehicles on the streets, the project also hopes to improve the provision of electric charging facilities across the continent.
In each of the nine participating countries kick-off meetings were held to introduce the project to relevant stakeholders, with many providing the public the chance to test out e-bicycles and electric vehicles, as well as engage in the discussion on electric mobility. A study tour to Berlin (Germany) was held for project partners, attended by around 30 participants. Attendees looked at electric charging facilities and relevant e-mobility infrastructure in the German capital, which is renowned for its forward thinking electric mobility policies.
If you are interested, please get in touch with one of the contact points:
The European Year for Development 2015 at the European Development Days
The EYD2015 project “The future we want – Local Authorities for Sustainable Development” was presented during the European Development Days (EDD) on 3 and 4 June 2015 in Brussels. The EDDs are Europe’s leading forum on development and international cooperation and attracted 7,000 participants from over 140 countries this year. Several panel debates on linking the post 2015 development agenda and the global climate negotiations were held during the event. Climate Alliance used the opportunity to promote the new European-wide campaign entitled, “A good life is simple,” and also reported on the visits from indigenous counsellors that go hand in hand with the campaign. The clear call to action drawn out by Climate Alliance’s Road to Paris was also an important topic.
Amazonian and rainforest news
Crowdfunding: Indigenous football team from Sarayaku seeks funding
The footballers of the Ecuadorian "Club Deportivo Sarayaku" have been raising awareness for the sustainable management of their forests through football. Now in the region’s professional championship league, the team is currently seeking financing for both the team and especially its message of preserving the Kawsak Sacha, the concept of "Living forest", via crowdfunding. Money raised via the crowdfunding initiative will help Sarayaku’s indigenous team continue to play the game it loves while communicating the importance of the Amazon rainforest for both their livelihoods and the life or our planet. Interested parties can contribute to the football players from Sarayaku via crowdfunding until 30 November 2015.
Further information is available on the website of the community of Sarayaku.
Burning forests in the name of the climate
On 12 June 2015, indigenous representatives from the Congo, Ecuador, Kenya and Surinam discussed the challenges of forest climate protection with scientists, local representatives, forest and climate experts, and representatives from governmental institutions and NGOs. The event, held jointly by the city of Bonn and the INFOE-Institute for Ecology and Action Anthropology, also focused on the role of REDD in climate action and forest stewardship. The speakers and participants asked whether a mechanism like REDD can make a lasting contribution to the climate and help to secure the land rights of indigenous peoples. “Forestry is not about trees, it’s about people!” stressed Joseph Ole Simel of Kenya, underlining how important a strong voice for human rights and indigenous peoples at the COP21 in Paris will be. To face climate change, global solidarity is needed!
News from Europe and the world
Essen named European Green Capital for 2017
The Climate Alliance city of Essen (Germany, 570,000 inhabitants) has won the European Green Capital Award for 2017. Essen was singled out for its exemplary practices in protecting and enhancing nature and biodiversity and its efforts to reduce water consumption. Essen not only works actively with Climate Alliance, the city also participates in a variety of networks and initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to improve resilience in the face of climate change.
A+ energy efficiency labels to be dropped
The Commission plans to launch the revised Energy Labelling Directive on 15 July. Refrigerators, TVs, dishwashers and 9 other, mostly white goods are covered as the original grades, launched to boost energy efficiency and stimulate both competition and the development of more environmentally friendly products, have lost their impact. Today, most products are fit into class A. To correct for this, A+, A++ and A+++ rankings were created in 2010. Under the new rules, a new scale will be issued every 10 years and the scales, which will continue to go from A to G, will be set so that no products will achieve A or B when the label is first introduced.
Brochure on energy efficiency in buildings released
A new guide for municipalities with detailed practical examples on low-energy buildings has just been released as part of the EU project PassReg. “Defining the Nearly Zero Energy Building” describes interesting examples from all over Europe and promising measures that municipalities can implement in their building sector. The guideline shows that energy efficiency complemented by renewable energy is not only an ideal approach for municipal energy action plans and the response to the EU requirement for nearly zero energy buildings (Nearly Zero Energy Building ‑ NZEB), but also in terms of financing. All examples listed correspond to the Passive House standard, an energy standard that is increasingly used by towns and cities as a basis for the implementation of the highest energy saving and emission reduction in the building sector worldwide.
International Conference on Climate Action
1 ‑ 2 October 2015 in Hanover, Germany
Municipalities play a strategic role in addressing climate change. They drive developments and act as role models for successful measures in greenhouse gas emissions reduction. The International Conference on Climate Action will highlight local potential and achievements and will support mutual know how-transfer on policies and implementation. Representatives from municipalities, regional and national government, networks, foundations and researchers will get together to present, learn, and discuss. Join the conference and learn more about experiences from a variety of cities, regions and countries, using diverse formats, from high level discussions to open market places, interactive workshops, and an award ceremony celebrating best practice.
Open Days ‑ 13th European Week of Regions and Cities
12 ‑ 15 October 2015 in Brussels
The Open Days offer cities and regions the opportunity to prove the importance of the local and regional levels for good European governance. Municipalities and regions are invited to showcase their capacity to implement EU cohesion policy and to create growth and jobs. Participants may attend more than 100 workshops and debates, exhibitions and networking opportunities.
The role model of the Covenant of Mayors in multilevel governance
14 October 2015, 14:30 ‑ 17:00, in Brussels
During the Open Days in Brussels, the Climate Alliance is organising a Covenant of Mayors workshop in cooperation with its partner networks running the Covenant of Mayors Office and the Committee of the Regions. Those interested in attending “The role model of the Covenant of Mayors in multilevel governance: Views from academia and local and regional actors” should contact Ana Rita Neves at email@example.com
Covenant of Mayors and Mayors Adapt Signing Ceremony
15 October 2015 in Brussels
This year, the Covenant of Mayors Signing Ceremony will be organised jointly with Mayors Adapt, the EU initiative on adaptation and resilience to change. The Ceremony will showcase and celebrate municipalities’ continuous commitment to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Save the date for this invitation-only event, taking place during the Open Days. Those interested in attending should contact Lucie Blondel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kassel International Dialogue on 100% Renewable Energy
10 - 11 November 2015 in Kassel, Germany
A growing number of local governments from cities and regions around the world have embarked on the pathway to 100% renewable and sustainable energy by engaging citizens and increasing the efficiency of their energy systems. On this journey, local policy makers can gain much from one another in terms of know-how and support. The Kassel International Dialogue provides such a platform by showcasing multifaceted best practice cases for 100% RE in interactive policy dialogue. This dialogue introduces practical tools to help local governments from around the world exchange their ideas. It sheds light on the opportunities and challenges faced by cities that are transitioning to energy systems entirely powered by renewables, aiming to build a shared understanding of the exemplary elements behind robust and comprehensive renewables policy.