Project Ideas Laboratory - Brokerage Event
26 January 2016 in Brussels
Climate Alliance is pleased to invite you to the second edition of its Brokerage Event. Join us and get an overview of the new and future funds as well as calls for proposals. Propose your project ideas, identify potential project partners, or simply get inspired by networking with peers! Participation is free of charge, but space is limited. Further information can be found here.
Climate Alliance International Annual Conference and General Assembly
5 - 8 October 2016 in Krems an der Donau, Austria
Save the date for the 2016 International Climate Alliance Conference, taking place next year in autumn (not, as usual, in spring) along with the 2016 Climate Star Awards Gala!
Stay tuned for more information!
COP21 news - UN Climate Summit in Paris
Before the COP21: National greenhouse gas reduction targets miss the mark
The 2 degree Celsius mark has long been the politically acknowledged limit for acceptable warming on a global level. A look at the already submitted national reduction targets shows that the global 2 degree target will not be reached until 2025 and 2030. Preliminary assessments point to a 2.7 degree Celsius rise in global temperatures. The UN Climate Secretariat has evaluated and summarised the submitted so-called 119 INDCs (Intended National Determined Contributions) from 147 countries. In each INDC, countries report on climate action measures; some 100 governments have also reported on climate change adaptation strategies. Here you find more information.
Europe's children urge leaders to commit to climate action at UN Climate Summit
During the UN Climate Conference in Paris at 3 December 2015 Carole Dieschbourg, Luxembourg Minister of Environment, and Thomas Brose, Executive Director of Climate Alliance, in the company of UN Youth Delegates and representatives of participating ZOOM countries, personally presented the “Green Footprints” along with the children's concrete wishes and demands to UN Climate Secretariat Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres. During the Climate Alliance’s campaign 186,830 kids from 13 European countries have collected 2,249,609 Green Footprints by making climate-friendly trips to school, saving energy in their classrooms, eating regional foods and choosing notebooks made with recycled paper.
Climate Alliance Ambassadors at the UN Climate Summit in Paris
Climate Alliance is carrying the voices of 1,700 European cities and towns to the UN Climate Negotiations in Paris with the help of five local leaders from across Europe. Acting as ambassadors for the local level, these elected representatives are embodying a clear message: There can be no successful climate protection without the recognition, involvement and input of local governments. Read more about the five Climate Alliance ambassadors: Joost Venken of Hasselt in Belgium, Mercè Conesa i Pagès of the Barcelona Provincial Council in Spain, Boris Palmer of Tübingen in Germany, Tine Heyse of Ghent in Belgium and Julie Laernoes of Nantes Métropole in France.
The Road to Paris
In the run-up to COP21 in Paris, Climate Alliance members call on national, European and international decision makers to enrich climate change talks with a focus on local action. If we are to reach our collective goal of keeping average global warming below 2° Celsius as compared to preindustrial levels, it is critical that we act now. All levels of government must work together to close the emissions gap. “We absolutely need a global protocol that acknowledges the efforts of local and regional authorities around the world and supports them in further climate action”, commented Tine Heyse, Deputy Mayor of Ghent and Co-President of Climate Alliance. Get informed about Climate Alliance activities and events during the COP21 in Paris and read the Climate Alliance blog.
Climate Alliance Cities Switzerland demand more engagement for global climate
The Swiss Climate Alliance cities require of the head of the federal state a more courageous climate policy. At the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris the Swiss delegation should apply for a significantly more ambitious reduction targets for the period after 2020. They demand from the federal government, not to shift responsibility for climate change partly by CO2 certificates abroad, but significantly reduce greenhouse gases in Switzerland. The Climate Alliance Cities are convinced that the CO2 emissions in Switzerland can be reduced to one or two tonnes per person and year until 2050, without that the Swiss economy suffers damages. As part of the 2000-watt society many cities already have this objective enshrined in the municipal regulation and already started with the implementation of municipal energy and climate change concepts. More infos in German.
Announcement - Climate Star 2016
In 2016, Climate Alliance will, for the seventh time, be calling on cities, municipalities, districts and municipal networks within the Climate Alliance to show off their climate action by applying for the prestigious Climate Star award. Application documents will be available as of mid-January; the closing date for applications is 31 March 2016. As in former years, winning projects will be selected in four categories based on number of inhabitants. The Federal State of Lower Austria is generously hosting the award ceremony gala, which will be held on 6 October 2016 in Schloss Grafenegg within the framework of the Climate Alliance Annual International Conference in Krems an der Donau. Will your city or town be among the winners? Be sure to apply for a Climate Star!
Climate Alliance stresses tapping of local potentials in EU’s Energy Union
Climate Alliance has released a position paper in response to the EU Commission’s State of the Energy Union report in November. In it, Climate Alliance calls for top priority to go towards tapping “local potentials” for sustainable energy sources, which will bring numerous economic, environmental and social benefits.
Climate Alliance on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD)
Climate Alliance submitted a response to the EU’s consultation on its Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, contending that in order to reach Europe’s 80-95% CO2 reduction target by 2050, the energy performance standards of buildings will play a decisive role and should therefore be further enforced. Given the indispensable role of local authorities when it comes to implementing effective measures, mobilising citizens and incentivising local businesses in the buildings sector, adequate (capacity) support and their integration in the EPBD revision should be defined. Further information
Lunch-Debate in the EU Parliament
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has been heralded as a long-term action plan for people, the planet and prosperity. On 18 November 2015, Climate Alliance and the project consortium of the “EYD2015: The Future We Want” project showed in the European Parliament how cities are already practicing what the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is preaching. The participants entered into a discussion with Members of the European Parliament, to point how the local level can be better integrated in multilevel governance processes and how it can obtain further technical and financial support. The debate on the EU level brought local authorities closer to EU policymaking, transmitting an important understanding of the support structures available.
Art Projection on the European Year for Development
One highlight of the European Year for Development was in November 2015 an art projection onto the building of the European Parliament in Brussels - presented by Climate Alliance. A lot of things have spiralled out of control in over-developed Europe. On the occasion of the European Year of Development 2015, Climate Alliance is calling upon people to join the dialogue, get involved and reflect on global sustainability targets. The facts show that something has to change and we can change something. A good life is simple!
Climate Alliance joins Coalition for Energy Savings
In order to make the voices of its members increasingly heard in European energy policy, Climate Alliance has joined forces with the Coalition for Energy Savings, a group of business, professionals, local authorities, trade unions, consumer and civil society associations. The Coalition’s purpose is to make the case for a European energy policy that places a much greater, more meaningful emphasis on energy efficiency and savings. More information here.
9.5 billion US dollar judgment against Chevron - star witness admits his lie
It was all going so well for Chevron - a New York court had ruled that a 9.5 billion dollar judgment against it set by Ecuador's Supreme Court for massive pollution deep in the Amazon was corrupt and fraudulent. Climate Alliance has reported several times. But then its star witness broke ranks and admitted, in another court, that he had lied, and the only bribes were coming from Chevron. Since 1993 was negotiated in the USA firstly, then in court in Ecuador and then again in the USA. Will Ecuador's pollution victims finally get justice?
Gigantic fires destroy 190,000 hectares of rainforest in Brazil
Enormous fires likely set by illegal loggers have destroyed some 190,000 hectares of rainforest and indigenous territories in the Brazilian rainforest. The front line of the fire, extending 100 kilometres, gives rise to over 500 new hot spots daily. The native Guajajara people actively work to protect their territories from illegal logging and its consequences, but the 30 indigenous firefighters are no match for a fire of the scale. After repeated calls for assistance, the government finally sent a further 40 firefighters but the fire is not yet under control.
Three times more droughts at Amazon
Droughts in the Amazon basin are expected to triple by 2100 if global CO2 emissions will not be reduced. As the online magazine Klimaretter reported, a study that was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences draws this conclusion. The affected areas become larger and the spans between droughts lesser, said the lead author of the study Philip Duffy from the Woods Hole Research Center in the US. The researchers wanted to know which impact more CO2 in the atmosphere will have on extreme weather conditions. They came to the conclusion that in this area not only droughts, which unavoidable cause deforestation, will be more common, but also floodings.
Securing land title by the Council of the Tacana in Bolivia
The Equator Prize 2015, assigned by the Equator Initiative, awarded 20 outstanding local and indigenous initiatives that are advancing innovative solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. One of these initiatives is the Council of the Tacana in Bolivia:
In one of the most biodiverse areas of Bolivia, the Tacana Council (Consejo Indígena del Pueblo Tacana) has secured collective land title to more than 389,300 hectares of forest for the Tacana people. After successfully presenting their land claim to the Government of Bolivia, the group built consensus on a land use plan and natural resource management strategy amongst the 20 communities living in the territory. The land use strategy prioritises sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity conservation and forest protection. The group has also launched 24 community-based associations in agroforestry, ecotourism, cacao production and sustainable caiman harvesting that have benefited more than 50 percent of Tacana households.
Ghent first to sign new Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy
The Belgian Climate Alliance city of Ghent is the first city to commit to the new Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. The new initiative, which not only focuses on mitigation but also adaptation, was launched mid-October. Ghent’s mayor Daniël Termont claimed the second covenant’s 40 percent CO2 reduction puts the city on track to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Ghent was keen to sign the agreement now to make a statement to leaders in Paris for the COP21 negotiations. “Local authorities cannot deal with this problem alone,” said Termont. “So the city of Ghent has a clear message to policy makers of higher governments: we want to act, but we also expect you to act.”
Citizenergy platform launched – take part in the European energy revolution
Both crowdfunding platforms for renewables and renewable energy cooperatives are becoming more popular, but it remains difficult to get an overview of the possibilities to directly invest in renewable energies. The Citizenergy platform, made possible by the European Union’s Intelligent Energy Europe Programme, changes all this. By providing information on renewable energy opportunities from crowdfunding platforms and cooperatives across Europe, Citizenergy serves as a valuable resource – both for individuals looking to engage in Europe’s energy transition and project developers in need of support. The first platform of its kind to bring the worlds of renewables cooperatives and crowdfunding together in one, easy to navigate space, Citizenergy is directly supporting the decentralisation and democratisation of our energy landscape. Use your power and sign up for updates today!
Info from Europe and all over the World
Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action (NAZCA) platform
The voluntary climate change commitments of more than 4,000 non-state actors, such as cities, regions and companies, have been thus far been published on the NAZCA platform. Of these, most activities and commitments listed come from municipalities within Covenant of Mayors. The initiative was launched by the Peruvian COP20 presidency in the context of the Lima Paris Action Agenda.
All MEPs to get access to confidential TTIP documents
Finally, all Members of the European Parliament will get access to all categories of confidential documents relating to the EU’s Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks with the USA, under a European Parliament/European Commission agreement. The accessible documents will include the so-called “consolidated texts,” which reflect the US position.