New Climate Alliance members
We heartily welcome four new Climate Alliance members: from Austria the municipalities of Stadtschlaining and Timelkam as well as from Germany the town of Kolbermoor and the district Heidekreis. Welcome!
As of February 2017, Climate Alliance counts 1652 districts, cities and towns and as well as 62 provinces, NGOs and organisations from 26 countries as members.
List of members
Board and National Coordinators of the Climate Alliance met in Ghent
The Climate Alliance Board and National Coordinators met for the first time in 2017 from 2 to 3 February in the Belgian city of Ghent. Hosted by Tine Heyse, Vice-Mayor of Ghent and President of the Climate Alliance Board, the two-day meeting brought together National Coordinators from Austria, Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland. It was also the first such meeting for Climate Alliance's newest board members: Councillor John Tanner of the City of Oxford from the UK, Robert Leven, 3rd Juryman of the City of Hesperange from Luxembourg, and Deputy Mayor Roland van Meygaarden of the City of Geldermalsen from the Netherlands. Topics revolved around the strategic planning of Climate Alliance's work including sessions on the new phase of the Covenant of Mayors, the EU Winter Package and developments in CO2 monitoring. Discussion on important upcoming dates for Climate Alliance such as the 2017 Climate Alliance Conference in Essen (Germany) this September and the Climate Summit in Bonn (Germany) this November rounded out the meeting.
Executive Board of Climate Alliance
Climate Alliance represented in new Covenant of Mayors board
On 10 February the European Covenant of Mayors launched its newly appointed political board of Mayors, which will provide cities and regions a unique opportunity to have their say on the strategic orientation of the initiative and EU policy. Province of Barcelona President Mercè Conesa i Pagès has been appointed by Climate Alliance as one of the seven board members, which will be in direct dialogue with the European institutions on how best to serve the needs and expectations municipalities. The board is composed of mayors and locally and regionally elected representatives from across the EU, with two further representatives of the Climate Alliance member cities Ghent (Mayor Daniel Termont) and Heidelberg (Mayor Eckart Würzner). EU Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, former UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, Claude Turmes, Member of the European Parliament and former Climate Alliance Coordinator of Luxembourg, as well as representatives from European institutions were present for the launch.
Climate Alliance play key role in EU Commission event on energy efficiency
On 18 and 19 January, some 400 key stakeholders from cities, regions, industry and the financial sector gathered in Brussels to discuss financing energy efficiency at the operational level. Joost Venken of Hasselt (Belgium) represented Climate Alliance in the event’s closing. His message: engage local decision makers as well as local populations in energy saving programmes and provide support for smaller municipalities to get their sustainable energy investment projects off the ground. The EU Commission event featured a lively platform for exchange on topics including the European Commission's recent communication on Clean Energy for All Europeans. A session was dedicated to Climate Alliance's work with innovative financing models to help local authorities take on large-scale and deep energy efficiency retrofits via the CITYnvest project.
International Climate Alliance Conference
20 - 23 September 2017 in Essen, Germany
Save the date!
The European Commission displayed “our” venue Essen with the “European Green Capital 2017” award. Essen is thus offically a model for the successful transformation of a coal and steel town into the greenest local authority in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Improve the energy and water efficiency in your local authority
Do you want to improve the energy and water efficiency in the public buildings of your local authority? Climate Alliance is working with the Energy Data Innovation Network (EDI-Net) initiative, funded by the European Commission, to help municipalities reduce their energy and water consumption by between 5 and 15 percent and save them money in the process. To join the initiative free of charge, just fill out the online form or sign up for the EDI-Net newsletter.
Making use of near-surface geothermal energy in the Alps
The Alpine region has abundant sources of renewable energy. Near-surface geothermal, however, is once source that until now has been relatively little used. Climate Alliance is trying to change this in its work with the GRETA initiative for near-surface geothermal resources in the territory of the alpine space. A comparative analysis of the legal regulations in six different countries as well as a catalogue of existing techniques and best practices for the utilisation have now been made available. With GRETA, Climate Alliance is fostering the exchange of best-practice on a transnational basis and the development of tools for the inclusion of near-surface geothermal energy in the local energy planning.
CITY CYCLING enters its 10th round – now worldwide participation possible
Registration for Germany’s largest cycling campaign opens as of March 2017 – but this year, it will be open to municipalities across the globe! In the campaign, residents, city council members and mayors compete annually on the basis of kilometres cycled over a three week period. Over its ten years of existence in Germany and later Luxembourg, CITY CYCLING has experienced ever increasing participation numbers as well as the support of several German regional ministries. Now cities and towns worldwide can cycle for a better climate with CITY CYCLING. Municipalities with German partners taking part are especially encouraged to get involved!
Energy Union: Governance and local action
The new focus of the European Energy Union, which highlights integrated national energy and climate plans as well as measures at the local level, will strengthen cities and municipalities. Thousands of municipalities across Europe have developed and started to implement their own climate action plans – many of them active Climate Alliance members. Climate Alliance has stressed that EU states should build on this to speed up their plans for the national level. In addition, the regulation on the governance of the Energy Union offers the opportunity to systematise cooperation between different governmental levels and to strengthen the role of local authorities. Via the Sustainable Energy Investment Forum initiative, Climate Alliance is also supporting the setup of a financing platform by the end of 2017 for the acceleration of energy and climate investments.
Grants and funding programmes
Urban mobility – Call for Proposals
The second Call for Proposals of the European Commission’s Urban Innovative Actions (UIA)initiative, which promote pilot projects in the field of sustainable urban development, is now open. The call will be open until 14 April 2017. The UIA initiative invites applicants to develop and submit projects under one the three topics urban mobility, circular economy and integration of migrants and refugees. An overall budget of 50 million euros has been allocated to this call.
Indigenous people of Shuar threatened by mining activities in Ecuador
COICA, Climate Alliance’s key partner organisation in the Amazon region, is calling for dialogue and an immediate, peaceful solution to ongoing atrocities in the Ecuadorian province of Morona Santiago. Meanwhile, also UN Special Rapporteurs criticise the Ecuadorian government's repressive measures against indigenous representatives and NGOs. Since the end of 2016, a conflict between the indigenous Shuar people on the one side and the Explorcobres mining company and the Ecuadorian government on the other has been intensifying. The people of the region, which is now occupied by police and military, have seen violent attacks, displacements and imprisonments. Acción Ecológica, a partner organisation of Climate Alliance advocating for the Shuar, was threatened with closure at the end of the year 2016. In January 2017, government officials confiscated equipment from the Shuar radio station and extended the ongoing state of emergency by another 30 days.
COICA (Coordination of the Indigenous Organisations of the Amazon Basin) and CONAIE (Alliance of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador) express their strong concern about the developments in the province of Morona Santiago, calling for demilitarisation and suspension of the state of emergency in the region by the Ecuadorian government.
At the beginning of March 2017, the European Secretariat and Climate Alliance Luxembourg will carry out a delegation tour to Ecuador. For further information, please contact Silke Lunnebach (firstname.lastname@example.org).
overdeveloped.eu (in German)
Climate goals – ambitious and also fair?
Only in a dozen countries can the national climate plans laid down for the Paris Agreement be described as fully fair, a comparison of the University of Melbourne has revealed. The research team used five criteria to define fairness. This includes the historic responsibility - the cumulative emissions are considered. It is fair when countries that have emitted much in the past reduce more in the future. Further fairness criteria are the goal of equal per capita emissions for all people or a burden distribution that corresponds to the economic power of the countries. The results of their comparison are shown for the two-degree target and the 1.5-degree limit. In both cases, only a dozen countries meet all five criteria – almost exclusively African developing countries.
A new approach for energy retrofits in residential areas
The energy retrofits of existing residential areas can make an important contribution to achieving CO2 emission goals in the EU. Climate Alliance is now turning its attention to socially underprivileged neighbourhoods in need of refurbishment via the EU funded Climate Active Neighbourhoods (CAN) project. The project has just launched a regular newsletter service for those interested in innovative neighbourhood approaches to deep renovations. The newsletters can be found as download here.
Realising energy strategies together – joint action plans in the Alpine region
Are you an alpine local authority looking to work with other similar towns on an energy strategy or a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP)? Climate Alliance has done much work on joint action plans, not the least of which through the PEACE_Alps initiative. The initiative bundles the activities of existing energy and climate projects in municipalities across the alpine region. Its newsletters, available below, can help give you inspiration for your own local climate action.
Participatory financing gains boost via Citizenergy Project of the Year Award
Participatory financing of sustainable energy projects, for example via crowdfunding and energy cooperatives, is becoming an increasingly important contributor to the financing of the energy transition throughout Europe and beyond. The Citizenergy portal’s 2016 Project of the Year Award has lent increased recognition to this fact: on 1 February, Spanish crowdfunding platform ECrowd! and the Mar de Fulles eco-tourism complex received this Citizenergy honour during an event in the EU Parliament. The Citizenergy portal, created with Climate Alliance’s help, offers an overview of existing European crowdfunding platforms and energy cooperatives. Municipalities are increasingly taking advantage of these alternative financing opportunities, not only to fund their own energy projects, but as communications tools to promote public engagement. Successful examples include the Swindon Common Farm Solar project, visible on Citizenergy.
Exhibitions on climate change, overuse of resources and land grabbing
Would you like to inform your citizens about climate change, land grabbing or the overuse of resources and draw attention to our consumption-oriented lifestyle? Climate Alliance’s exhibitions are just the thing. You can print them as panels or posters free of charge or even show them digitally – there are many possibilities to adapt them to your local demands!
Full digital versions are available in English, German and Czech; partial versions in Spanish and Hungarian. Printed panels of the “We are all witnesses of climate change” exhibition are available in English; all three exhibitions on land grabbing, climate change and resource use, are available in German.
EU Statistics on energy, transport and environment
Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, has published a 236-page book listing indicators for the European Union and EU Member States as well as for candidate countries and EFTA countries. It provides an overview of the most relevant indicators on energy, transport and environment, answering questions such as how the energy mix one country compares to that of other Member States, what is the share of renewables in the EU energy mix and how efficient is energy consumption in the EU?
Energy, transport and environment indicators (pdf)
21st International Passive House Conference 2017 – Passive House for all
28 and 29 April 2017 in Vienna
The International Passive House Conference is the event on energy efficient building. Some 1,000 thought leaders and innovators from over 40 countries gather annually to exchange experiences and learn more about the latest Passive House developments. The conference offers a wide range of networking opportunities, presentations, workshops and excursions and is accompanied by the Passive House exhibition, where leading manufacturers present their latest products.
5th Assises of Decentralised Cooperation
10 and 11 July 2017 in Brussels
The European Commission 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 in reaching towards 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.