Art Projection on the European Year for Development
18 November 2015 in Brussels
An art projection on 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.
Climate Alliance’s Brokerage Event 2015
9 December 2015 in Brussels
After the success of last year’s edition, we will again organize a brokerage event on 9 December 2015, tailored to Climate Alliance members to discuss different potential project proposals. This year specific attention will be on the new work program of Horizon 2020 (2016-2017), but INTERREG, LIFE, EuropeAid and other financing opportunities will also be discussed. Please inform us (Elise Steyaert via email@example.com) if you have already proposal ideas or any particular interests, so we can adapt the agenda according to your needs!
New Climate Alliance members
A hearty welcome to goes out to our new Climate Alliance members: from Austria the municipalities of Bad Gleichenberg, Grieskirchen, Griffen, Raaba-Grambach and Telfs; from Germany the municipality of Wiggensbach; from Hungary the environmental association Kaán Károly as well as from Ukraine the city of Myrhorod. We are thrilled to have you on board!
New board member from the Barcelona region
Spain is now represented by a new member in the Climate Alliance executive board: Valentí Junyent Torras, Deputy President of Natural Spaces and Environment at Barcelona Provincial Council and Mayor of Manresa. We welcome him most warmly!
We also sincerely thank our former board member Joan Puigdollers I Fargas from the Barcelona region for the work he has done.
Local authorities against TTIP and CETA
So far, 28 Climate Alliance local authorities and many more especially from Austria have adopted a resolution against the free trade agreements TTIP and CETA, which are negotiated by the EU with the US and Canada. Thanks to the cities and municipalities that have sent us their decision. You find them here.
Climate Alliance cities and municipalities are for a constitutional state based on civil rights, strong local authorities and on the sovereignty of national parliaments. Serious consequences are imminent for the objectives to which Climate Alliance local authorities have committed themselves: both in terms of climate change, the strengthening of regionalism as well as the rights of the countries of the South, which disputed for their rights in the context of the failed WTO negotiations. The recent wordings of the agreements provide no exceptions for public services, so further liberalisation and privatisation of municipal services is to be feared.
Here you will find further information and a draft resolution.
Overwhelming endorsement for Covenant of Mayors and Mayors Adapt
EU institutions and hundreds of city representatives celebrated in the European Parliament in Brussels past and current achievements and paved the way for an even more successful future at the joint Covenant of Mayors and Mayors Adapt Ceremony at 15 October 2015. An overwhelming majority of the 6,500 signatories of the Covenant called for the continuation, and to set a new voluntary greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of at least 40% for the period 2020 to 2030, in line with the EU-wide target. For the COP21 in Paris the UNCCC published the NAZCA platform, which gathers engagements from non-state actors. Now its clear that the commitments of the Covenant cities will be showcased there.
ENVE Commission reaffirms its support to the Covenant of Mayors
The Commission for Environment, Climate Change and Energy (ENVE) of the EU Committee of the Regions adopted in September an opinion prepared by Kata Tüttö, Councillor in Budapest (Hungary), on the future of the Covenant of Mayors. During this debate of delegates representing local and regional authorities from all over Europe Pirita Lindholm presented Climate Alliance’s Five Recommendations for the Future of the Covenant of Mayors, which were all taken up in the ENVE Commission’s opinion. For instance, the Commission supports the expansion of the Covenant beyond EU borders and the integration of mitigation and adaptation pillars under the new initiative.
Climate Alliance action on Juncker Investment Plan
The Climate Alliance Brussels office took several actions to highlight the need for financial support and instruments tailored to the local level. For example, we have sent letters to President Juncker and key Commissioners stressing the need for prioritizing climate and energy projects in the new European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), with increased attention to project development assistance accessible for local authorities. We met three times with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to advocate for higher climate and energy ambition in their financing strategy. We also want to see more tailored financial support for local authorities in the newly established European Investment Advisory Hub. Members who are interested to learn more can read this briefing and are invited to join our Working Group on Financing meeting in Brussels on 22 October and can inform us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Climate Alliance on Energy Union and the electricity market design
Integrating all European energy policy ambitions and objectives, the Energy Union is of crucial importance for Climate Alliance and its members. Climate Alliance developed a briefing paper to summarise the strategy and its implications as well as a position paper to stress the role of local authorities in the energy transition and to bring examples from Climate Alliance members to European decision makers. Climate Alliance also replied to the European Commission`s consultation on the new market design for electricity, drawing on the Climate Alliance resolution adopted in July 2015. If you want to add any examples from your city or municipality, please contact Lea Kleinenkuhnen <email@example.com>.
ZOOM Campaign well on its way
Overall, already 55,000 small climate activists from twelve countries have registered. In Germany until now children from 120 cities and municipalities participate. In Luxembourg this year more than 3,500 children from 33 institutions are registered and have already collected more than 11,000 miles. In Sweden the action is named “Ga och Cycla till Skolan” and celebrates its tenth anniversary, far more than 100 schools are at the start. In addition, thousands of children in Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Ukraine take part. For the first time participants from Belarus are reported - to them a warm welcome!
CITYnvest – a website built for you!
CITYnvest.eu intends to make the field of innovative financing models accessible for local authorities with tailored guidance materials. Specify your local circumstances in the overview-tool to find concrete best practices implemented across Europe, share your own local examples and events, remain up to date with on-going workshops and check the resource library for explanatory materials. The website aims to give also a broad overview of similar initiatives and programs in order to guide you to the right information. Don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter via the website to stay tuned for further updates!
Synergies between CITYnvest and Covenant of Mayors
CITYnvest was presented at a workshop on financing strategies for local authorities on energy and climate actions on the 30th of September, organised by the Covenant of Mayors. Climate Alliance as the project coordinator pointed out how to unlock the potential of the 4,800 Sustainable Energy Action Plans based on experiences and lessons learned from the innovative financing models investigated in the project. The aim of CITYnvest is to close the gap between available financing instruments and expectations of investors, and financial and capacity-related needs of local authorities. The CITYnvest project intends to make the difference by replicating solutions that have a track record of positive results, while focusing on the local challenges. For more information, don’t hesitate to contact Elise Steyaert <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Indigenous rainforest territories vital to global climate deal
Indigenous leaders of the Amazon rainforest are reiterating a proposal that could leave a totel of 96 gigatonnes of CO2 in the soil – equivalent to total global emissions in 2010, 2011 and 2012 combined. The scheme known as the Indigenous REDD+ or RIA is an approach to climate action based on the sustainable maintenance of indigenous rainforest territories in the Amazon Basin. Such territories amount to 2.4 million square kilometres of rainforest, an area almost eight times the size of Italy. Before UN Climate Talks in Paris, the RIA initiative is providing some much needed answers.
Agenda 2030 - local authorities and indigenous peoples as key players
In September 2015, the UN in New York has passed the 2030 Agenda and the sustainability objectives contained therein (SDGs). While their predecessors, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), merely focused on the Global South, the 17 SDGs applies to all countries in the world. The economic, social and environmental sustainability targets have a holistic approach, bring together climate and development and recognize the special role of the local level - for many this integrated approach is overdue since a long time. Local authorities and indigenous peoples are explicitly mentioned among the nine key players to achieve the objectives. “Exactly this reflects the founding principles of Climate Alliance: We see indigenous peoples and local authorities as key stakeholders in the sustainability process. In this sense the work of many Climate Alliance municipalities is exemplary” remarks Thomas Brose, Climate Alliance’s executive director.
Award ceremony for opposition to dams
The Equator Initiative has received hundreds of nominations for the Equator Prize 2015 as part of an extensive partnership effort underway to strengthen and highlight the role of indigenous peoples and local communities at the UN Climate Summit in Paris. The Equator Prize 2015 will be awarded to 20 outstanding local and indigenous initiatives that are advancing innovative solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. One of these projects is the “Movimento Ipereg Ayu” in Brazil:
Facing a proposal by the Brazilian government to build a large dam complex on the Tapajós River that would submerge their vast territories (one million hectares of primary rainforest), the Munduruku of the Brazilian Amazon formed a resistance movement called Ipereg Ayu (what in local language means, “I am strong, I know how to protect myself”). Designed to safeguard the Amazon rainforest and protect the rights of the Munduruku people, the movement has helped to demarcate traditional territories, protect indigenous lands from illegal logging and mining and create platforms for the Munduruku people to exchange experiences, knowledge and best practices.
Indigenous Peruvians are traveling as consultants through Europe
How do we want to live in the future? What does sustainability mean in concrete terms? And what can we learn here from our indigenous partners in the rainforests? These questions are discussed with indigenous representatives from Peru since the end of September in Croatia, Germany, Hungary and Romania. Jhenny Munoz, from the Asháninka, Jose Luis Granados and Teresita Antazu, from the people of the Yanesha, are as indigenous counsellors for sustainability in Europe on the way. Discussions with politicians, visits to schools and kindergartens as well as public events for civil society are of the four-week program of the guests. Follow the journey on facebook: www.facebook.com/EYD2015
Info from Europe and all over the World
The role of local authorities remains vague in EU position for COP21
European Environment Ministers adopted the EU’s negotiating position for the Paris climate talks in September. Even though the text proposes that the Paris Agreement “enable engagement of non-state actors”, it does not provide clarity on how the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) and consequently local and regional authorities could be officially involved in the climate negotiations process. Climate Alliance welcomes that the Council conclusions stress the importance of the cooperation with non-state actors through the LPAA. However, the ministers remain vague regarding a specific recognition of local authorities’ role. Climate Alliance will bring its members’ messages forward with a strong presence during the talks in Paris. In addition to the handover of the Green Footprints and an own stand there will be an official side-event organised by Climate Alliance on 7 December together with other partners such as Climate Alliance Austria, entitled “Global Covenant of Mayors: Towards a climate neutral and inclusive city”. Further information on Climate Alliance activities during COP21 you find here.
EU Transport Ministers about bicycles as climate-friendly mode of transport
In October 2015, EU Transport Ministers and State Secretaries adopted the Declaration of Luxemburg on Cycling as a climate-friendly mode of transport, following an initiative of the Luxembourgish Council Presidency. Apart from a list of suggestions to the EU and national governments, the ministers recognised initiatives by local and regional authorities to include cycling in their own projects, and to exchange best practices. Climate Alliance welcomes that EU ministers are finally officially recognising the importance of cycling to climate action along with numerous other benefits. Ultimately, implementing concrete measures and motivating a large number of citizens lies mainly in the hands of local authorities. Climate Alliance has been acting on this for eight years now through its CITY CYCLING campaign.
Study questions effectiveness of Joint Implementation
The use of Joint Implementation may have enabled global greenhouse gas emissions to be about 600 million tons CO2 equivalents higher than they would have otherwise been. The implications for the European Union’s Emissions Trading System are particularly serious. As of April 2015, more than 560 million Emission Reduction Units had been used in the EU Emission Trading System. Joint Implementation may therefore have undermined the EU Emission Trading System emission reduction target by about 400 million tons CO2. Joint Implementation is one of two offsetting mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol, along with the Clean Development Mechanism.
Develop Europe’s long-distance rail - no more cuts!
Trains can create the best and most environmentally friendly connections across Europe. But a wave of closures of long-distance rail services has swept through our continent. We are facing the important UN Climate Summit in December 2015 in Paris and this is the time to get back-on-track! The petition demands:
- No more cuts - maintain all long-distance European rail services,
- Develop direct trains between major cities in all European countries, both by day and (!) by night,
- Establish a European rail timetable information and ticket booking system.
The “Back on Track” coalition will take your opinion to the rail companies and to EU with some more practical proposals.