Luxembourg ratifies ILO Convention 169 to protect indigenous peoples
“ILO Convention 169 is the only binding international treaty to protect the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples. Any country that ratifies this convention strengthens its weight and thus also the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide. Luxembourg is only the fifth European country, alongside Denmark, Norway, Spain and the Netherlands, to have taken this important step. This is a good example for all states in the EU to follow: even countries without indigenous populations can recognise their rights and thus contribute to forest and climate protection. Where indigenous peoples live and where their land rights are recognised – this is also where the natural environment is preserved. This means that ratification not only contributes to the protection of human rights, but also to the protection of the world's climate,” explains Dietmar Mirkes of Climate Alliance Luxembourg.
Climate Alliance has helped to put the issue on the political agenda in Luxembourg. Members of Luxembourg’s Parliament approved the ratification of ILO Convention No. 169 unanimous at their meeting on 27 February 2018. Luxembourg is therefore the 23rd country worldwide to ratify this important convention.
New Climate Alliance members
We heartily welcome nine new Climate Alliance members: in Austria the municipalities of Eben am Achensee, Ernstbrunn, Mühlbachl, Oberhaag, Ottnang am Hausruck, Prutz and Uderns as full members as well as in Belgium the Province Vlaams-Brabant and in the Czech Republic the foundation Nadace Partnerství as associated members. We’re happy to have you in the network!
As of March 2018, Climate Alliance membership includes 1657 cities, towns and districts as well as 63 provinces, NGOs and other organisations from a total of 26 countries.
Take part in the Climate Alliance competition Climate Star 2018
Have you already submitted your project in the field of climate change or climate justice for a Climate Star? With the motto “Diversity in local climate action” we are looking for sustainable and innovatively implemented concepts that involve the local population. The projects should be transferable and have gotten some media coverage, as they should make it clear that Europe can rely on strong local partners in the Climate Alliance for climate action and climate justice. Climate Alliance towns, cities, districts and municipal networks are encouraged to apply by 30 March. A total of 15 climate stars will be awarded in four categories during the Climate Star ceremony on 18 October 2018 in Lower Austria’s Schloss Grafenegg.
Climate Alliance welcomes strengthening of EU energy efficiency targets
On 17 January, the European Parliament overwhelmingly adopted a binding 35 percent energy efficiency target for 2030. “This target unfortunately falls short of the 40 percent Climate Alliance cities had been calling for, but is nonetheless a welcome step in the right direction,” comments Andy Deacon, Policy Director at Climate Alliance. The European Council and Commission had both shown support for a lower 30 percent target in the run up to this vote. The new target is not only 5 percent higher; it further accelerates progress on energy savings by fully and fairly including transport in its calculation.
Climate Alliance calls for locally-driven energy efficiency financing
In December 2017, Climate Alliance released a set of five policy recommendations demanding an increased emphasis on the local level in energy efficiency financing. “Boosting investment for sustainable building renovation is vital for the energy transition, but for municipalities, access to adequate financing remains difficult,” explains Climate Alliance’s Giustino Piccolo, CITYnvest Project Coordinator. The recommendations are a product of CITYnvest, an EU-funded project providing practical guidance for local authorities on financing energy retrofits. The experiences of Climate Alliance member municipalities involved in the network’s Working Group on Financing as well as those of six project partners fed into the recommendations.
Increasing bioenergy use endangers forests
The proposed recast of the EU’s renewable energies directive stands to damage the world's forests with minimal or even negative benefits for climate protection. This is the result of an analysis published by the Federal Environment Agency in Germany on 4 January 2018. By increasing the share of biomass to 27 percent of renewable energies by 2030, the recast would fuel the cutting down of trees for bioenergy. This policy fails to consider the resulting damage to forests. However, the best protection for the climate and the forests is to use the valuable raw material wood for as long as possible in the sense of cascade use.
International Climate Alliance Conference 2018
1 - 3 October 2018 in Barcelona
The next International Climate Alliance Conference and General Assembly will take place from 1 to 3 October in Barcelona. Please save the date!
Awards for local authorities
Momentum for Change - Lighthouse activity
The search for Momentum for Change’s 2018 Lighthouse Activities is on! Spearheaded by the UN Climate Change Secretariat, Momentum for Change shines a light on the most innovative, scalable and replicable examples of what people around the world are doing to tackle climate change. If you’re leading a results-driven project that is successfully addressing climate change, you can apply by 30 April 2018. If your project is selected as a winning activity, you will receive a wide range of benefits, including fully covered attendance to the 2018 UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland.
EU Trade City Award on fair and ethical trade
The EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award is an initiative of the European Commission’s Directorate General of Trade, springing from the “Trade for all” communication on trade and investment policy. The new award recognises local level achievements and positive impact on fair and ethical trade. The EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award is open to cities with more than 20,000 inhabitants. The winners will receive financial support from the Commission and technical assistance from the International Trade Centre, the co-organiser of the prize, to develop activities. Applications are possible through 13 April.
Brochure offers guidance for the renovation of public buildings
The new publication “Setting up innovative financing schemes for energy efficiency renovations” supports local authorities to find financing for the renovation of their public buildings. It gives a quick overview of relevant topics ranging from political engagement to monitoring. The brochure includes links to the tools and supporting documents developed over the last three years within the framework of CITYnvest. The guide for local authorities sets out key steps to follow and identifies tools that can be used for each of these steps.
New dashboard shows energy consumption in public buildings
A new data analysis platform is providing a real-time overview of current energy, water and gas consumption data in public buildings. The instrument is a result of the EU project EDI-Net on smart metering and sustainable energy policy, in which Climate Alliance cooperates with partners from all over Europe. The new dashboard, which is currently being tested by four pilot cities, aims to support municipalities in controlling energy and water consumption so that they can act quickly. Other interested municipalities may apply free of charge and without obligation.
CITY CYCLING 2018: Register now for the worldwide competition
Registration for Climate Alliance’s CITY CYCLING campaign is now open! The campaign invites local politicians and the public to cycle for their municipalities. In so doing, they promote cycling and advocate climate action. Participating municipalities choose 21 consecutive days between May and September during which the campaign is to be implemented. Last year, more than 220,000 cyclists in 620 municipalities participated! One key innovation for 2018 is a brand-new app, which will allow participants to record the routes they cycle and make this information available to their municipality for the long-term planning of local cycling infrastructure.
New database facilitates divestment from coal
The environmental organisation Urgewald has recorded more than 770 coal companies in an extensive database. “Adherence to the Paris climate target of 1.5 degrees global warming is only possible if banks and investors quickly and completely abandon coal investments," explains Heffa Schücking, Managing Director of Urgewald. The ‘Global Coal Exit List’ provides key figures and activities of companies ranging from coal exploration and extraction, to coal trading and transport, through to coal-fired power generation and the construction of coal-fired power plants. The aim of the database is to create transparency. It enables banks, other investors and municipalities to find out which companies earn their money with coal.
Municipal management of water-related challenges
In a new publication, the KWR Watercycle Research Institute emphasises the importance of local authorities in addressing water challenges. “Whether it’s a lack of freshwater, rising sea levels or extreme weather events, climate change is exacerbating the challenges cities face when it comes to water,” stresses Wolfgang Hofstetter, coordinator of the POWER initiative on water at the Climate Alliance. In the article of the KWR Institute, it portrays the city of Amsterdam in a case study using the analysis tool “City Blueprint”. Climate Alliance is working with the Institute and municipalities on the EU-funded POWER project to strengthen social responses to global water issues on the local level.
Video shows how municipalities can implement climate concepts efficiently
The short film “How to implement energy action plans” explains step by step how cities and towns can transform their energy and climate action concepts into real action. The guide shows how to get started on the local energy transition in a cost-effective way by bundling various climate action activities. In the French region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, for example, the territory’s vulnerability to the effects of climate change is being examined and tailor-made solutions for adaptation strategies are being developed. For the municipalities in South Tyrol, a practical guide has been prepared that facilitates the standardised collection of data for energy monitoring of buildings and facilities. The short film was created as part of the EU-funded project PEACE_Alps.
EU Sustainable Energy Week
4 - 8 June 2018 in Brussels
The high point of EUSEW is the annual Policy Conference (5-7 June) organised by the European Commission and energy stakeholders. It is the most important European conference discussing sustainable energy policy issues and shaping Europe’s energy future.