2016 International Climate Alliance Conference and General Assembly
5 - 8 October 2016 in Krems an der Donau, Austria
This year's International Conference is set to take place from 5 - 8 October 2016 in the Climate Alliance city of Krems - approximately one hour away from Vienna. A special highlight will be the 2016 Climate Star award ceremony and gala on the evening of 6 October, held on invitation of the Federal State of Lower Austria in Schloss Grafenegg.
Competitions for local authorities
Climate Star 2016 - Apply now!
The European competition for the best local projects promoting climate action has started. For the seventh time, local authorities and municipal networks will have the chance to apply with a running or completed project for a Climate Star. Apply with your project or initiative and show the general public the strength of the local level in the fight against climate change! The closing date for submissions is 31 March 2016. Winners will be honoured at the Grafenegg Castle on 6 October 2016 on the invitation of the Federal State of Lower Austria during the International Climate Alliance Conference in Krems an der Donau.
European Award for Green Public Procurement
Local authorities spend - according to EU estimates - almost 20 percent of GDP on the purchase of services, works and supplies. Often the principle buyers in relevant sectors of cities, towns and districts can do much to bolster climate agendas by focusing on green procurement practices. The Green Public Procurement Award (GPP Award) wants to distinguish outstanding green public procurement projects in Europe. Cities, towns and districts that have integrated green concepts into their procurement practices are urged to apply by 30 April 2016. Winners of the award will be announced in summer 2016.
New Climate Alliance members
The Climate Alliance Secretariat would like to extend a warm welcome to its new members: from Austria the municipalities of Aflenz, Fernitz-Mellach, Gratwein-Straßengel und St. Margarethen an der Raab; from Germany the cities of Brackenheim and Viernheim, and from Slovenia the municipality of Lendava. Welcome!
As of January 2016, Climate Alliance counted 1639 cities, municipalities and districts as well as 60 provinces, NGOs and other organisations from 26 countries as members.
List of members
Climate Alliance survey for members
Between 5 November and 9 December 2015, almost one fifth of Climate Alliance members from ten European countries replied to our survey on their needs and expectations. A big thank you to all those who participated – we truly value the information you have provided! The more than 300 collected questionnaires are now being processed, and the key findings will soon be shared with the Executive Board of Climate Alliance to help shape the priorities and activities of our organisation over the next years. Stay tuned for further information.
To the questionaire
A farewell to Ulrike Janssen (by Karl-Ludwig Schibel)
“After 22 exciting and inspiring, but also exhausting years” writes Ulrike Janssen, long-time director of Climate Alliance, “I have decided to embark on a new path and to fully dedicate my time to my artisanal and creative talents.” While wishing her all the best, and of course respecting her decision, we do let her go with deep regret. Ulrike Janssen succeeded in bringing together a visionary perspective with a hands-on approach and an unsurpassed level of dedication. Under her and Thomas Brose's guidance, Climate Alliance grew into the largest network of local governments committed to climate protection. All the joy and happiness of the world to you, Ulrike!
Climate Alliance's work on the European Energy Efficiency Directives
In the framework of the Energy Union, the EU is at a crossroads in the design of its legislation impacting the achievement of the 2030 Climate and Energy targets. Climate Alliance answered to consultations on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (full response text, pdf) and the Energy Efficiency Directive (full response text, pdf) in the light of its members’ vote to achieve the 40% energy efficiency target. Climate Alliance advocates for the implementation of the energy efficiency first principle across the entire energy system and highlights the importance of local authorities as facilitators to increase energy efficiency in a number of sectors, e.g. buildings. These examples should be followed by the EU and the national levels. Overview of responses
Project Ideas Laboratory: Good ideas for project funding
On 26 January 2016 Climate Alliance organised the second edition of its Project Ideas Laboratory in Brussels. The event aimed to identify funding opportunities for Climate Alliance members, informed about upcoming calls for proposals from the EU, brought potential project partners together and offered the chance to talk to decision makers and experts of existing European funding programmes to identify individual needs and bottlenecks for the proposal process. Read more
UN Climate Conference in review
The COP21 ended last December with the adoption of the Paris Agreement. The main target: keeping global warming “well below 2 °C” while gradually working towards a more ambitious 1.5 °C target. The agreement stands as a diplomatic success that will serve to strengthen the international climate process while the results of the summit leave local authorities in a stronger position than ever within this process. Yet despite the much acclaimed “breakthrough” that COP21 represented, the agreement contains major weaknesses. Climate Alliance will continue to urge decision makers to make the promised “well below 2 °C” target a reality.
Climate Alliance's COP21 Digest
Brazil's Supreme Court stops mega dam project
A Brazilian court suspended the operating license for the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam, one of the world's largest, just weeks before owner Norte Energia SA planned to start electricity generation, as the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported. Judge Maria Carolina Valente do Carmo of the Federal Court in Altamira, Para, said the license will be suspended until Norte Energia and Brazil's government meet a previous license requirement to reorganise the regional office of Funai, the national Indigenous protection agency. Previously agreed compensation must also be paid to the fishermen and indigenous peoples in question. Climate Alliance has long supported the affected people of Kayapó, informing its members and the greater public about the dam project.
The second largest lake in Bolivia has dried
The Lago Poopó, Bolivia's second largest lake has dried up. It just disappeared, reported the Süddeutsche newspaper. NASA has published aerial photographs of the lake spanning from 2013 to 2016. The lake, which once had a size of about 3,000 square kilometres and supported dozens indigenous communities, is no more due to climate change and the exploitation of natural resources. The silver and ore mines along the Desaguadero River, which supplied the Lake Poopó, simply divert too much water. One fisherman was quoted as saying that the area only has “about one-tenth of the rainfall compared to other years.” This horrible event makes clear: the results of climate change are already being felt across the globe.
Brazil: Indigenous community attacked by gunmen
Gunmen, employed by local ranchers, arrived in the Guarani-Kaiowa village in Mato Grosso do Sul state, Brazil, with approximately ten trucks and have been firing repeatedly at the indigenous population. This was reported by COIAB, the Brazilian member of Climate Alliance’s partner organisation COICA, which actively supports the people against such acts. The gunmen have also reportedly set fire to several houses in attacks that are continuing on a nightly basis. The ranchers are believed to be retaliating for a land reoccupation attempted by the Guarani-Kaiowa. Although the Guarani-Kaiowa have a right to their ancestral land under Brazilian and international law, it was taken to make way for ranches and plantations.
Covenant of Mayors for your partner city in Africa
The Covenant of Mayors has mainstreamed local climate and energy planning, becoming a strong movement of local authorities across Europe. On the basis of this success, the initiative is being extended to Sub-Saharan Africa. The European Commission has launched a grant scheme that will support five to seven cities in Sub-Saharan Africa, each eligible for 300,000 to 1 million euros to prepare and start implementing their Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans. Climate Alliance cities are invited to support their partner cities in the grant application process. The deadline for concept note submission is 16 March 2016. Read more
Climate Alliance cities selected for EU climate adaptation programme
Mayors Adapt, the Covenant of Mayors initiative on urban adaptation to climate change, launched an online call for participation in its city twinning programme. A total of 45 cities from 12 countries across Europe applied. Among the finally selected local authorities are three Climate Alliance members: Cascais (Portugal), Florence (Italy) and Munich (Germany). Florence will thus be paired with mentor city Lisbon whereas Cascais and Munich will be mentoring Ilion (Greece) and Prague. Read more
CITYnvest: New toolkits for financing energy efficiency in buildings
Three new toolkits dedicated to local authorities regarding financing solutions for energy-efficient renovations in buildings have been developed by the CITYnvest project, coordinated by Climate Alliance. They consist of a benchmark and analysis report of advanced models for innovative financing solutions, which is complemented by a self-assessment tool that helps local authorities choose the most suitable financing and operational energy retrofitting model. Finally, “A guide for the launch of a One Stop Shop on energy retrofitting” presents a step-by-step approach on the experience of the province of Liège (Belgium) and identifies the main challenges and success factors. Read more
Citizenergy – off to a promising start in 2016
Having made its official debut in November 2015, the Citizenergy portal is up and running. The portal now counts three crowdfunding platforms and three renewable energy cooperatives from a total of six European countries amongst its Official Partners – accredited organisations whose offerings may be published on Citizenergy. That number, as well as the number of projects visible on the site, is slated to grow steeply through 2016, helping Citizenergy reach its aim of becoming the European atlas of citizen powered renewables projects. Interested in becoming supporting a project or have a project of your own that needs funding? Sign up for updates today!
POWER - The new EU project for water management
Cities need to adapt their water management to modifications caused by climate change and urbanisation. In order to promote this the European Commission has elected a project by the name of POWER. Four cities have been selected as demonstration cities for the project due to of their ongoing work in the field of water. Milton Keynes in England is working to reduce water consumption, the Spanish city of Sabadell wants to establish an information system on its two water qualities, the British city of Leicester will be working to predict its surface water flood risk, and Jerusalem suffering from limited water supplies, wants to diminish water losses.
CELSIUS - Solutions for district heating and cooling
Europe is throwing away more waste heat than needed to heat all its buildings. By using district heating networks to exploit this abundant heat source, cities can use their energy resources far more efficiently and directly reduce their primary energy demand. The CELSIUS project, with its lead Gothenburg and the Climate Alliance city of Cologne, illustrates how cities can save energy and create a more self-sustaining energy economy through the deployment of district heating and cooling systems. The aim is to support European cities with their district heating and cooling solutions by recruiting 50 new CELSIUS city members. The project provides support in form of workshops, webinars, interactive toolboxes, specialist expertise and study visits - also for newly interested local authorities.