New Climate Alliance members
The Climate Alliance Secretariat would like to extend a warm welcome to its new members: from Germany the municipalities of Eschweiler, Waldenbuch, and Steyerberg, the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia (as an associated member), and, from the Netherlands, the municipality of Geldermalsen. Welcome! As of December 2016, Climate Alliance counted 1654 districts, cities and towns and as well as 62 provinces, NGOs and organisations from 26 countries as members.
List of members
Support wanted: Education program for bilingual indigenous teachers
Since the late 1980s, FORMABIAP has been educating indigenous teachers in the Peruvian Amazon region. In addition to general studies, the various indigenous languages and cultures are the main focus. The curriculum also includes a segment on renewable energies, which is illustrated by Climate Alliance’s solar lamp carried out in cooperation with the Pro Vita Andina association. The Zungarococha campus near Iquitos offers students a place to study complete with a library, accommodation, a canteen and space for the development and implementation of project ideas.
A change in state funding has unfortunately resulted in budget cuts for the programme, endangering not only its quality but also its survival. We are thus seeking potential supporters and sponsors. If you are interested, please contact Thomas Brose at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Luxembourg ratifies ILO Convention 169
In mid-November 2016, Luxembourg’s Ministry of Labour declared its plans to ratify ILO Convention No. 169, the only international convention that guarantees legal protection and fundamental rights to the world’s indigenous peoples. As a symbolic precursor to ratification, representatives of Climate Alliance Lëtzebuerg and ASTM presented the thumbprints of 2,500 Luxembourgian citizens who had pressed for ratification to Labour Minister Nicolas Schmit. Luxembourg will thus become the fifth European country after Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Spain, to put the ILO 169 into force.
Climate Alliance publications
Our latest publications are available for download on our website. Get informed about indigenous strategies for comprehensive forest protection or the “We are all witnesses!” exhibitions on climate change, land-grabbing and global resource demand, available on loan. Here you will also find Climate Alliance Annual Reports, posters and position papers as well as other brochures and guidelines.
2017 International Climate Alliance Conference
Next year’s International Climate Alliance Conference is set to be held in Essen, the 2017 European Green Capital, probably from 20 to 22 September 2017. Stay tuned for exact dates and further details. We look forward to seeing you there!
Town hall of Essen
Tuxyso / Wikimedia Commons
EU Energy Package: Improved but insufficient local energy efficiency financing
In late November, the European Commission published its 1,000-page “Clean Energy for all Europeans” package featuring new legislative proposals for the energy future of the EU, supposed to lead the bloc to the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Climate Alliance has summarised the most important points for its members including communication, local energy generation, energy efficiency, smart financing, and local energy and climate plans.
Cities ask for better accounting rules for more energy efficiency investments
In November 2016, an important exchange of views facilitated by Climate Alliance took place with representatives of the National Bank of Belgium in order to discuss the accounting rules surrounding energy efficiency investments. As was shown by a wide variety of stakeholders present, there is currently a contradiction between the investment needs in the public building stock and the interpretation of energy performance contracting on local authority balance sheets. Current rules represent a immense barrier to financing energy retrofitting of public buildings, since the entire investment must be treated as government expenditure, which increases debt levels. Climate Alliance has repeatedly stressed this issue in its dealings with the EU institutions to convince policy-makers that a change of rules is needed.
Call for greater involvement of cities and regions in EU adaptation policy
In late November 2016, the Commission for the Environment, Climate Change and Energy of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) adopted an “own-initiative opinion” drafted in collaboration with Climate Alliance on the review of the 2013 EU adaptation strategy. The CoR, the EU institution representing regional and local authorities, is currently developing an opinion to guide the European Commission’s review of the EU Adaptation Strategy, due to begin next year. Climate Alliance is directly involved in this process as the chosen advisor of Sirpa Hertell, a member of the city council of the Finnish city Espoo who is in charge of drafting the opinion.
Implementing the Covenant of Mayors in Belgium and Benin
In September 2016, the Climate Alliance municipality of Zoersel (Belgium), decided to sign the Covenant of Mayors. With more than 7,100 signatories, the Covenant of Mayors is the world’s largest urban climate and energy initiative. Zoersel committed to Covenant jointly with its partner Bohicon in Benin. Bohicon, a selected Covenant pilot city, already plays an active role in the Covenant of Mayors Sub-Saharan Africa initiative and will receive support from the regional Covenant of Mayors office in planning and implementing its local climate action measures.
The Covenant of Mayors continues its global expansion
The Covenant of Mayors was launched in 2008 in Europe to gather local governments voluntarily committed to achieving and exceeding the EU climate and energy targets. Not only did the initiative introduce a first-of-its-kind bottom-up approach to energy and climate action, its success quickly went beyond expectations. The initiative now gathers more than 7,000 local and regional authorities across 57 countries drawing on the strengths of a worldwide multi-stakeholder movement and the technical and methodological support offered by dedicated offices. The Global Covenant of Mayors – to be launched on 1 January 2017 – will capitalise on the experience gained over the past eight years in Europe and beyond, building upon the key success factors of the initiative: its bottom-up governance, its multi-level cooperation model and its context-driven framework for action.
Netherlands: electric vehicles to store renewable peak power
The Netherlands is fast becoming the international frontrunner for smart charging of electric vehicles, using them to store peak power production of solar and wind. Some 325 municipalities including Climate Alliance member The Hague have joined the Dutch Living Lab Smart Charging, representing 80 percent of all public charging stations. This is also supported by the Dutch government.
Climate Alliance at COP22 in Marrakech
The UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech was the first Conference of the Parties (COP22) following the adoption and ratification of the Paris Agreement, which was undoubtedly a milestone for climate policy internationally – implementing the goals set out therein, however, will require wide-ranging cooperation between national governments and cities, business, investors and citizens.
Despite Trump’s election win in the US, the delegates in Marrakech called the progress on the international climate negotiations irreversible, reports Dietmar Mirkes of Climate Alliance Luxembourg. They unanimously adopted the Marrakech Proclamation for Action on Climate and Sustainable Development, which calls for stronger reduction targets and describes the relationship between climate protection and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Markus Hafner-Auinger, director of Climate Alliance Austria, also came back from the ‘working conference’ satisfied. “Many of the negotiations and working groups arrived at comparatively fast results and we have made some important steps in the practical implementation of the Paris Agreement.”
A total of 48 developing countries, banded together in the Climate Vulnerable Forum, announced their intention to convert to 100 percent renewable energies, with target years ranging from 2030-2050. They see climate adaptation as a key precondition for further development. The financing commitments of many industrialised countries, on the other hand, are not enough to fund the necessary adaptation projects.
The second Climate Summit for Local and Regional Leaders, co-organised by Climate Alliance, was a definite highlight of the two week conference. There, Climate Alliance Ambassador Andreas Wolter, Mayor of Cologne, stressed the need to ensure sufficient resources to build capacities for the development of local projects that are ‘investment ready’. The summit culminated in the adoption of the Marrakech Roadmap for Action, which launched two new initiatives: the Global Campaign for Localising Climate Finance and the Global Action Framework towards Localising Climate Finance.
Various new structures in the form of thematic work streams were featured at COP22, such as the Work Stream on Human Settlements and Resilience, in which Climate Alliance Ambassador Steen Christiansen played a role.
And finally, no COP would be complete without taking the children’s efforts into account via the Climate Alliance ZOOM campaign: The over 1.7 million Green Footprints collected by some 175,000 children in ten European countries were presented to UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa.
Third Amazon summit of COICA
At the end of October, more than 100 COICA delegates and affiliates met in Lima, Peru, for the Third Amazon Summit entitled “Climate Disaster, Living Amazonia and Indigenous Alternatives”. As one of COICA’s longest standing international partners, Climate Alliance was also in attendance along with indigenous representatives from 14 countries. Discussions centred on the fatal impacts of climate change, the preservation of forests for climate protection, adaptation to climate change, and the growing pressure on resources in indigenous territories. The proposals and results are summarised in the Mandate of Lima (Cumbre amazonica), as well as indigenous concepts and alternatives as part of the solution to our global problems.
Peru: Gold extraction causes large-scale deforestation
In the last four years alone, more than 12,500 hectares of rainforest have fallen victim to the consequences of gold extraction in the southern Amazon region of Peru. Most of the deforestation has taken place in Madre de Dios, a region of extremely high biodiversity, with the regions of Cusco and Puno having also been adversely affected. Half of the deforested area is located in the buffer zone between the Tambopata, Bahuaja Sonene and Amarakaeri protected areas and national parks. Destruction is taking place in the protected areas, too: Satellite images show swaths of destruction in the Tambopata National Park and in the Amarakaeri protected area, where the Harakmbut people of live. The City of Rostock and Climate Alliance have been supporting the Harakmbut since 2014 in the protection of their territorial boundaries.
Brazil’s first indigenous mayor elected to power
The municipality of Marechal Thaumaturgo’s 15,000 inhabitants have elected Brazil’s first ever indigenous mayor. Isaac Piyãko received over 56 percent of the votes in Marechal Thaumaturgo in the State of Acre. While the position of deputy mayor for Santa Rosa do Purus, also in the State of Acre, was once filled by an indigenous nominee, never has an indigenous representative been elected mayor in Brazil. Isaac Piyãko aspires reduce the existing racism through good leadership. “There is a lot of racism and prejudice against indigenous peoples. But I am sure I can revise and dismantle prejudices through good governance.” Congratulations and good luck from Climate Alliance!
Global damage caused by illegal timber trade
A recent report by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) shows that illegal logging and wood trafficking causes an annual damages of more than 152 billion US dollars worldwide and is affecting the environment, the economy and entire societies. The existing laws and regulations do not sufficiently curb current activities in this area. The trade agreements between countries aimed at ensuring the legal origin of timber have led to increased illegal trade in other, less regulated, markets. China and India, for example, are currently the largest importers of illegally traded tropical timber, while Russia is the main source of illegally traded wood from boreal and temperate forests. Climate Alliance members have committed to abstaining from the use of unsustainably managed timber as one key measure in the fight against climate change and climate injustice.
Climate Compass – online tool for measuring your local activities
We are very pleased about the great feedback we have received so far Climate Alliance’s new online tool, the Climate Compass. The tool helps you take a critical look at existing structures in your municipality and gauge local activities in the fields of climate protection and climate justice. Based on checklists, this tool is free of charge and particularly useful for small and medium-sized municipalities that find themselves at the beginning of climate action planning. We are looking forward to your first results.
For municipalities, it is important to remember that you can use the Climate Compass in a team together with your colleagues. The person who first registers automatically gets the admin rights must then okay all other users, who will then be notified by email. Please let us know if you are experiencing any trouble getting started and we will be happy to help!
All other interested parties may view the Climate Compass tool and get a test access by contacting Silke Lunnebach at email@example.com.
Power project: Get valuable information on water management issues
Climate Alliance has launched a series of newsletters on water management themes via the POWER project. The latest newsletter looks into the example of water management in the Catalan City of Sabadell and deals with best practice examples on water, waste water, solid waste and climate adaptation.
Sign up for future newsletters.
21st International Passive House Conference 2017 - Passive House for all
28 and 29 April 2017 in Vienna
The International Passive House Conference is the year's premium Passive House event, where about 1,000 thought leaders and innovators from around the world gather. Here, attendees will find a wide range of networking opportunities, presentations, workshops and excursions, which will allow them to share their experience with other professionals and to learn more about the latest Passive House developments. Furthermore, the conference is accompanied by the Passive House exhibition, where all leading manufacturers present their latest products.
5th Assises of Decentralised Cooperation
10 and 11 July 2017 in Brussels
The EC Communication “Empowering Local Authorities in partner countries for enhanced governance and more effective development outcomes” recognises local authorities as genuine actors of development cooperation and, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, as key partners to reaching good governance and sustainable development.
As in previous editions, the European Committee of Regions is very keen to cooperate with you for the organisation of the fifth Assises, and would be grateful to receive any proposals, input and suggestions from your side.