New Climate Alliance members
The Climate Alliance Secretariat would like to extend a warm welcome to its new members: from Austria the market town of Brixlegg as well as the municipalities of Auersthal, Gallizien and Lichtenberg; from Germany the cities of Leer (Ostfriesland) and Sankt Augustin as well as the municipalities of Horneburg and Niederer Fläming. Welcome!
As of July 2016, Climate Alliance counts 1653 cities, municipalities and districts as well as 61 provinces, NGOs and other organisations from 26 countries as members.
List of members
Working Group on Financing meets with the European Investment Bank
Members of Climate Alliance’s Working Group on Financing got the chance to discuss Municipal Framework Loans with representatives of the European Investment Bank (EIB). The participants of this June meeting learned more about this still little known system in which the EIB agrees on tailored packages with individual local authorities. These packages consist of a set of projects spanning various sectors and varying in size with funding periods lasting from 3 to 5 years and a typical loan maturity of 20 to 25 years.
Local authority statement on EU Energy Union governance
Climate Alliance has released a joint statement along with five other major networks of local and regional authorities on the governance of the EU’s Energy Union. The statement calls upon the European Commission and national governments to intensify their work with local and regional actors in the design of future national energy and climate plans, thereby moving from a policy of “action by a few to action by all”.
International Climate Alliance Conference
5 - 8 October 2016 in Krems an der Donau, Austria
“A culture of climate action – Mainstreaming good practice” is the motto of this year's Climate Alliance Conference and General Assembly, which will take place in the Austrian Krems an der Donau - together with the Climate Star 2016 award ceremony. Moderated interactive plenaries will trigger reflection on the ways in which we work and interact with one another in reaching climate goals. Six workshops on topics ranging from municipal cooperation on climate action to exchanges on climate justice and the use of online tools in engaging the public will provoke reflection on how we all can contribute to a culture of climate action within our municipalities.
Launch of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy
22 June 2016 marked the launch of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, the world’s largest single coalition of local governments committed to climate leadership. The coalition combines Michael Bloomberg’s Compact of Mayors, with its some 500 cities worldwide, with the EU’s former Covenant of Mayors for a total of 7,100 cities from 119 countries – each committed to climate leadership. Exporting the EU-born Covenant of Mayors model and its principles worldwide was one of the key recommendations on the future of the Covenant of Mayors initiative made by Climate Alliance last year. This united and bottom-up movement can help to amplify the voice of local governments in the international climate arena.
Forestry: Loophole in emission rights
The EU forestry sector is complex. For this reason, governments can easily circumvent make their national climate commitments in this field and reap millions of euros in CO2 certificates in the process. EurActiv reports that letting this loophole stand in forthcoming EU climate legislation could mean greenhouse gas reductions of only 33% for the EU compared to 1990 levels as opposed to the “at least 40%” promised by EU leaders. By overstating their “business as usual” logging activities, governments can scoop up millions of euros worth of carbon credits by simply not hitting their timber-felling targets.
Proposed EU law will not keep conflict resources out of Europe
A law proposed by the European Commission on responsible sourcing of minerals is not strong enough to prevent European companies’ mineral purchases from financing conflict or human rights abuses, and falls far short of expectations. Instead of putting forward robust legislation that would require a wide range of EU-based companies to do checks on their supply chains – known as due diligence – the Commission announced voluntary measures that will only apply to companies importing processed and unprocessed minerals into the European market. The proposal covers companies involved in the tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold sectors.
Scrapping EU agrofuel targets is the right thing to do
The biofuel lobby decries plans to scrap agrofuel targets but, according to EurActiv’s Marc-Olivier Herman, “ending support for harmful and costly agrofuels is the only right thing to do.” Work on the EU’s post-2020 bioenergy policy has now started in earnest. In May, the European Commission invited stakeholders to a full day meeting to discuss sustainability concerns and started going through the hundreds of contributions it received to its public consultation on the issue.
Awards for local authorities
Green Public Procurement Award highlights sustainable public purchasing
Twelve public procurement projects in Europe have been awarded in Brussels with the European Green Public Procurement (GPP) Award prize for their outstanding sustainable procurement initiatives. The award ceremony was the high point of the “Through energy efficiency to sustainable local authorities” symposium “, which took place within the European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) in Brussels. The procurement actors present discussed obstacles and solutions of environmentally oriented public procurement. The European winners can be found under:
CAN - Energy efficient refurbishment of residential areas
The energy retrofits of existing residential areas can make an important contribution to achieving the EU CO2 emission goals. Climate Alliance’s new EU funded project, Climate Active Neighbourhoods (CAN), which is led by the Climate Alliance focuses on socially underprivileged neighbourhoods in need of renovation. Municipalities and city regions of varying size in Belgium, Germany, France, Great Britain and the Netherlands will benefit. Neighbourhood approaches and synergies based on new forms of governance will be introduced to build relevant capacity in the participating local authorities.
PEACE Alps - Municipal energy and climate projects in the Alpine region
“Pooling Energy ACtion and Enhancing their implementation in the Alps” is a new Climate Alliance project in which municipalities will be supported in laying out economically feasible plans towards the energy transition. A key focus will be the clustering of existing energy activities and climate projects in participating municipalities whereby the approach for integrating climate change adaptation measures developed in Climate Alliance’s SEAP_Alps project will serve as a basis. The project will run over the next three years and is promoted by the “European Regional Development Fund ” (ERDF). Eleven organisations from six Alpine countries in addition to Climate Alliance are involved.
Patricia Espinosa named new head of the UN Climate Change Secretariat
On 6 July 2016, the Mexican diplomat and politician Patricia Espinosa Cantellano took up the post formerly held by Christiana Figueres as head of the UN Climate Change Secretariat. Espinosa has served as Mexican Ambassador in Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Slovenia, as well as Mexican Foreign Minister. After the Copenhagen disaster in 2009, she helped to set the negotiating ship afloat again. During the subsequent climate summit in Cancún, she laid the cornerstone for the recently decided Paris Agreement. There is a lot of work is waiting for the 57-year-old in Bonn: some 50 points of the Paris Agreement have yet to be clarified. Climate Alliance wishes her much success in encouraging countries to commit to ambitious climate targets so that the “no more than two-degree target” can be maintained.
Peruvian small-scale farmer receives Goldman Prize
The resistance of the small-scale farmer by the name of Maxima Acuña de Chaupe against the largest gold mine in the Peruvian highlands has been recognised with the prestigious Goldman Prize. The award acknowledges her struggle for her 60 acre property, which was in the path of the approved 2011 expansion of the Yanacocha mine. In 2014 , members of a Climate Alliance delegation had the opportunity to meet Acuña de Chaupe, who at the time was battling an absurd legal process on “usurpation” (illegal land grabbing). During their visit to the Andean city of Cajamarca, they considered the environmental impacts of gold mining nearly 4,000 meters above sea level.
Dam project in Brazil threatens home of indigenous Munduruku
The 7.6 kilometres long São Luiz do Tapajós dam in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest is the first of 40 planned dams in the region. It threatens the livelihood of indigenous peoples around the Tapajós River, amongst others the land of the Munduruku. An international campaign supports the Munduruku in recognition of their land and reminds companies abroad to their corporate social responsibility. The Tapajós valley is one of the most biodiverse regions of the world and is not only livelihood of the Munduruku, but also the habitat of jaguars, river dolphins and manatees as well as hundreds of fish and bird species.
Funding opportunities via the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme
Many Climate Alliance members who have substantial energy efficiency projects in the pipeline find that financing remains a barrier. Capacities are needed to develop solid investment projects from A-Z as well as to investigate payback terms, upfront investment needs and necessary in-house skills. The current Project Development Assistance call from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme tackles the starting phase of an investment project by providing resources to hire technical staff as well as for due diligence investigations and feasibility studies. The EU’s support should leverage the amount in mobilised investments fifteen-fold. The deadline for this call is 15 September.
Reporting Framework and Guidelines of the Covenant of Mayors
The Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy was launched in October 2015, adopting the European Union’s 2030 energy and climate objectives and an integrated approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation. To date, over 180 local authorities have signed up to the new commitments. Many Climate Alliance members have further made their dedication to climate action visible by signing the Covenant of Mayors. The city of Ghent in Belgium was the first city to adopt the new Covenant commitments. Other members such as Nuremberg in Germany and Cesena in Italy have also signed up to the new Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.
Best practices on water management released - brought together by POWER
How can local authorities improve in general and in considering the costs and the potency the effectiveness of their water management? Find answers to this question in the first newsletter of the POWER project, an EU funded initiative on political and social awareness regarding water related challenges, on which Climate Alliance is involved. The newsletter presents best practice examples in city water management coming from four pilot cities.
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New online database for the passive house
With regard to more stringent requirements for energy efficiency in buildings the passive house standard comes into focus. A new online database shows passive house components at a glance and facilitates the search for products and details.
European Year for Development art performance video released!
One highlight of the 2015 European Year for Development was an unique art projection directly onto the buildings of the European Parliament in Brussels - organised by Climate Alliance. In the framework of the campaign “A good life is simple”, the projection questioned our development model in a special way: How do we want to live in the future? And how may look sustainable development? Watch the video and relive this special laser projection with live opera accompaniment!
Climate Chance - Climate Actors World Summit
26 - 28 September 2016 in Nantes, France
Local authorities, businesses, associations, trade unions, the scientific community and citizens are invited to this meeting, which should enable a global plan of action to be drawn up, offer more in-depth discussions on both achievements and obstacles, encourage the sharing of experiences and innovations, as well as highlight the opportunities emerging from this resolute fight against climate change.