EU Committee of the Regions adopts Climate Alliance adaptation messages
On 9 February 2017, the Committee of the Regions (CoR) plenary unanimously adopted an opinion on the EU Adaptation strategy supporting numerous Climate Alliance positions. Espoo City Councillor and special rapporteur Sipa Hertell drafted the opinion in close cooperation with Climate Alliance and its Working Group on Adaptation. The opinion, having previously been adopted by the CoR’s Environment Committee in December 2016, will feed into the European Commission’s review of the EU Adaptation Strategy due during the course of 2018.
Climate Alliance welcomes the decision of FSC
The Austrian company group Schweighofer has lost Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) recognition and can no longer use its seal. The timber company was accused of using wood from illegal sources in Romania by NGOs such as the Climate Alliance partner organisation Focus on Ecocenter. Climate Alliance welcomes this FSC decision as it demonstrates the organisation’s ability to act and its credibility. Timber certification according to the FSC criteria thus remains the only credible, internationally recognised seal for timber from sustainable forestry.
www.klimabuendnis.org/newsroom (in German)
On the death of Councillor Van Coulter from the city of Oxford
The board of Climate Alliance expressed in a condolence card to the Oxford City Council its grief regarding the news of Councillor Coulter’s passing. Many of us at Climate Alliance had the honour of working closely with him over the last several years as one of the network’s key contacts in Oxford, in various EU projects and during our 2014 International Conference in Luxembourg. His tireless efforts in pushing for a more sustainable and just world were an inspiration. Indeed, it was in no small part due to his determination and spirit that Oxford joined Climate Alliance. In Councillor Coulter, we have lost an important ally and activist – an individual who was truly committed to making this world a better place. We are grateful to have had the chance to work with such a remarkable man and look forward to supporting Oxford City Council in continuing his legacy on sustainability and climate justice.
Mainstreaming adaptation and changing working routines
3 May 2017 in Bonn, Germany
You are warmly invited to join the discussion session “Transforming administrative routines to transform the city” hosted by the Covenant of Mayors and organised by Climate Alliance from 14:30-15:30. The event offers the opportunity to exchange with colleagues and explore the success factors and barriers to improving administrative routines to plan and implement adaptation actions and ultimately transform the city. The discussion session is part of the 4th Open European Day at the Bonn Resilient Cities Conference about exchange on climate adaptation and urban resilience.
International Climate Alliance Conference
Transforming our municipalities ‒ from goals to action
20 - 22 September 2017 in Essen, Germany
Reducing CO2 emissions is not enough. A drastic shift in the way we use resources, shape policy and go about our daily routines is in order if we are to tackle the climate challenge. This year’s International Climate Alliance Conference will take place in Europe’s 2017 Green Capital, a 'city in transformation' and will highlight examples of successful municipal transformation. Climate Alliance, in cooperation with the Region of North Rhine Westphalia and the City of Essen, cordially invites you to the 2017 International Conference and General Assembly. Be there and see how sustainable change can be achieved through strong partnerships, effective tools, and the right financing.
Stay tuned for programme updates and registration information!
City Cycling – Cycling for a better climate
This May, Climate Alliance will kick off the 10th round of its CITY CYCLING campaign within Germany and the first round open to municipalities worldwide! We invite municipalities, their parliaments and their residents to cycle for a better climate and promote sustainable mobility. The race is on between 1 May and 30 September to log as many cycled kilometres as possible during a special three-week period that is set by each municipality. Join in and promote cycling in your city or town!
Covenant of Mayors capacity building survey
Climate Alliance’s strong involvement in the Covenant of Mayors initiative has given us unparalleled opportunities to voice the needs of local authorities on an EU level. Many Climate Alliance members are also showcasing their action and sharing their expertise through this initiative. The Covenant of Mayors Office is now conducting a survey to collect local level expectations of its capacity-building activities. This survey offers local and regional authorities, both signatories of the Covenant of Mayors and non-signatories, the opportunity to have their say about the initiative as well as the type of assistance they need in developing and implementing Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAPs). Respond before Friday 28 April 2017 and win up to €400 in travel and accommodation expenses for the EU Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels this June!
Report on financing adaptation
Despite budgetary challenges, cities and towns across Europe are taking action to put measures in place that will help them adapt to the impacts of climate change. A European Environment Agency report highlights the opportunities open to municipalities to support adaptation measures that strengthen the resilience of their territories. The report, entitled “Financing urban adaptation to climate change”, takes a closer look at innovative funding options for adaptation measures such as green bonds and crowdfunding. By detailing case studies carried out in 11 cities – among them the Climate Alliance cities of Gent and Hamburg, it highlights various projects that help cities better protect themselves from the damage caused by extreme weather events. These projects include measures such as green spaces, sustainable storm water management systems and green roofs.
Grants and funding programmes
Funding for public procurement of energy efficiency solutions
Climate Alliance has long recognised public procurement as an integral part of local climate action strategy. The EU is now offering support for the Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions for energy efficiency via its H2020 Energy Efficiency Call for local authorities interested in the procurement of more energy-efficient and innovative solutions for products, services, and buildings. The call covers 35 percent of procurement costs and is open to public bodies at local, regional or national levels.
Interreg North-West Europe Partner search
Interested in working on an EU-funded project? The Interreg North-West Europe website lists many project ideas and future project managers looking for partners. If a topic interests you, simply get in touch with the contacts listed. The Interreg North-West Europe programme covers Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the United Kingdom as well as northern France, western Germany and the south-western regions of the Netherlands.
Climate Alliance Lëtzebuerg: Study trip to Ecuador
In March, Climate Alliance Lëtzebuerg / ASTM organised a study trip to Ecuador. Ten local representatives from Luxembourg, representatives of Climate Alliance Lëtzebuerg and the European Secretariat as well as two journalists from RTL-Luxembourg were present. The focus of the trip was a visit to the Kichwa municipality of Sarayaku, which has been successfully campaigning against oil production in its area for many years. The delegation was welcomed by the President and the traditional Sarayaku authorities and had the opportunity to discuss with the local indigenous people their views of the world, their understanding of sustainable development, and Sumak Kausay, the concept of good life. With the project “Living Border”, the indigenous people in Sarayaku try to mark their territory and keep away intruders peacefully with flowering trees.
Climate Alliance has been cooperating with Sarayaku for many years. In the context of the EU project “The future we want – Local Authorities for Sustainable Development”, Eriberto Gualinga was the ambassador for sustainability in Europe. The project will develop alternative concepts for a global, sustainable future for all people. In September 2017 he will travel again to Europe. Here, he will present an evaluation report with political recommendations to EU representatives and also will present the report at the Climate Alliance Conference in Essen.
overdeveloped.eu (in German)
Peru: Palm oil plantations destroy rainforest
In March 2017, Andreas Wolter, Mayor of the City of Cologne and Climate Alliance Ambassador of the UN Climate Conference in 2016, travelled to Ecuador and Peru with Thomas Brose, Executive Director of Climate Alliance. The occasion of the delegation trip was a preparatory meeting of COICA in Quito for the UN Climate Conference in Bonn in November, and a return visit to the Peruvian region Ucayali in the Amazon lowlands in the municipalities of Yarinacocha and Santa Clara. The indigenous Shipibo-Conibos, which are living there, suffer mainly from pressure from the massive expansion of palm oil plantations in their areas. Despite the legal recognition of their territory, the State reserves the right of disposals and obtains licenses for palm oil plantations. “The indigenous population sees themselves not only endangered in their rights but also in their existence,” explains Mayor Wolter.
overdeveloped.eu (in German)
Agreement on clearer energy efficiency labelling
The European Parliament and Council agreed on a revised energy efficiency label and regulatory framework. The current A+++ to G labels for products will be replaced by clearer and easier to use A to G labels. This change will increase transparency and help consumers make better informed purchasing decision. The measure will be accompanied by the introduction of a public database that will enable comparisons regarding the energy efficiency of household appliances. Consumer surveys show that about 85% of the European public pay attention to energy efficiency labels when purchasing products.
The EU wants to stop imports of minerals from conflict regions
On 16 March, MEPs adopted a new law obliging importers of minerals to ensure that their businesses do not contribute to armed conflicts in certain areas of the world. After two and a half years of debate, the European Parliament definitively adopted the new rules on mineral imports from conflict zones, which will come into force in 2021. This new law, which will apply across all EU member states, will oblige importers of tungsten, tantalum, tin and gold to ensure their supply chains are not linked to armed conflicts. All European importers, from refineries to foundries, will be bound by this duty of care, with the exception of very small operations.
Cities put social network benefits to use in water management
Four pilot cities have begun work to bring social networking benefits to the field of water management. Jerusalem, Milton Keynes, Leicester und Sabadell are now working on a social platform to support cities and waterworks in their work. The new social network will help key players exchange solutions and experiences with innovative water management approaches. The tool is due to be released this summer within the framework of Climate Alliance’s POWER project for political and social awareness of water challenges.
Energy management in Aachen, Frankfurt and Graz
The energy management systems of Climate Alliance cities Aachen and Frankfurt am Main are among the most developed at national level according to a survey of the University of Applied Sciences Ludwigshafen am Rhein. Internationally, New York and Climate Alliance member Graz are among the most advanced in terms of energy management. The results are based on the use of professional software tools and specific data sources such as automatic consumption recording, the documentation of manual meter readings, power company invoices and management instrument availability. Energy management is becoming increasingly important in support of the energy transition. Read more in the second EDI-Net newsletter.
2017 EUSEW - Clean Energy for All Europeans
19 - 25 June 2017 in Brussels and Europe-wide
The EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) is back for the 12 time, taking place this year from 19 to 25 June in Brussels. Additional “energy days” are taking place across Europe throughout both May and June. Thousands of public authorities, private companies, NGOs and consumers will take part to promote energy efficiency and renewables. Climate Alliance will be present in Brussels with the session “Accelerating the clean energy transition: financing energy efficiency at the local level”. Take part with your own energy day to showcase your contribution to Europe's energy transition. We hope to see you in Brussels!
UN Climate Change Conference
6 - 17 November 2017 in Bonn, Germany
The 2017 UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) will take place at the World Conference Centre in Bonn, the seat of the UN Climate Change Secretariat. The Conference will be convened under the Presidency of the Republic of Fiji.