Climate Alliance International Conference
25 – 27 September 2019 in Rostock, Germany
The tide is changing. Thanks to grassroots campaigning, increasing numbers of local, regional and even national governments worldwide are now declaring the climate as a priority. Many other municipalities and regions have long taken climate change seriously and are already pursuing ambitious climate goals. For them, some of the most pressing questions revolve around how best to act on this all-encompassing issue when only parts of its root causes are under municipal control. Which local strategies can contribute to a liveable future, how can we implement them and what can we learn from global partnerships along the way? How do we realise necessary transitions in mobility and the built environment, how can we engage the public in our strategies and how do we adapt to the changes we cannot avoid?
The International Conference and General Assembly is the highlight of the Climate Alliance year and the ideal place for members to both exchange and get inspired. We look forward to seeing you this year in Rostock!
New Climate Alliance members
We heartily welcome our new Climate Alliance members: the municipality of Frasnes-lez-Anvaing in Belgium; the cities of Preetz and Sinzig, the district of Pfaffenhofen a.d.Ilm, the municipality of Scheyern and the Fesa association in Germany; the association Craco Ricerche in Italy and the municipality of Mertzig in Luxembourg. Welcome!
As of June 2019, Climate Alliance membership includes 1674 cities, towns and districts as well as 66 provinces, NGOs and other organisations from a total of 26 countries.
Cities and towns are declaring a climate emergency worldwide
By declaring a climate emergency, Climate Alliance members Oxford, Basel, Constance, Kiel and now also Münster, Lübeck, Erlangen, Gladbeck, Marl and Bochum are joining more than 500 other municipalities in pushing their own administrations and national governments alike to focus on the climate. “Current targets at national and international levels are not sufficient to meet the ambition of the Paris Agreement. Everyone must do more. Declaring a climate emergency locally is a way to show that our cities, towns and regions are taking climate issues seriously”, explains Andreas Wolter, Climate Alliance President and Mayor of Cologne.
COICA’s 35th birthday honoured with renewable energy fund
To honour the 35th anniversary of its indigenous partner organisation COICA, Climate Alliance has launched a fund for renewable energies. This was announced at celebrations on 14 March in Quito, Columbia. Donations for the fund from local authorities or other institutions contribute to small-scale renewable energy projects in Amazonia. Many indigenous peoples either lack access to energy or are reliant on the very fossil fuel companies threatening their existence. Initiatives such as solar lamps and solar powered boats provide indigenous communities with access to clean energy.
Climate Alliance and Committee of the Regions strengthen collaboration
Climate Alliance and the EU's Committee of the Regions agreed on an action plan for renewed cooperation to improve the impact of local and regional authorities in the fight against climate change and energy transition efforts. The Action Plan signed in Brussels on 11 April by Climate Alliance President Tine Heyse and European Committee of the Regions President Karl-Heinz Lambertz sets out fields of cooperation for 2019-2020 with the aim of continuing the fruitful collaboration of the past years.
Climate Neighbourhoods identifies keys to successful climate action
Communication and trust are essential factors for success when it comes to climate action. The participants of the international conference Climate Neighbourhoods, organised by Climate Alliance and the ifeu Institute, identified this factor along with other aspects in the areas of structures, mobilisation and financing as decisive for effective climate action. “For two days, hundreds of local authority, business and civil society representatives as well as young people debated within the framework of the Climate Neighbourhoods,” explains Andreas Wolter, Climate Alliance President and Mayor of the City of Cologne. As part of the ICCA2019, the results of the Climate Neighbourhoods will flow into ICCA’s overall results and the Heidelberg Outcomes.
Towns, cities and regions march with youth for the climate
For the first time in Europe’s history, towns, cities and regions marched along with young people from around the world in a Global Climate Strike for the Future. Six local government networks including Climate Alliance, inspired by the youth’s call to action, joined the strike on 15 March in Brussels. They jointly called on the EU and national leaders to take the necessary steps to address climate change in a just and timely manner.
MEPs to protect forests and residents' rights
Climate Alliance, along with 40 other organisations, is calling on future MEPs to sign a forest protection pledge. The declaration calls for the promotion of “policies to protect and restore forests worldwide” and states that we must “recognise and secure forest peoples’ territories and their rights, including the rights of women, for generations to come”.
Climate Alliance Annual Report online
The Climate Alliance Annual Report provides a glimpse into the wide-ranging activities of Climate Alliance in 2018 as well as plans for 2019. The report consists of two parts; one on international activities and one on the work of the different national Climate Alliance Coordination Offices in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
Photovoltaic array inaugurated in Cologne's twin city of Yarinacocha
On 19 March, a delegation led by Climate Alliance President and Cologne Mayor Andreas Wolter inaugurated a photovoltaic system in Cologne's Peruvian twin city of Yarinacocha. “It was an impressive day and we are delighted to unveil the solar plant in cooperation with the city and the university. Climate action means moving from oil and coal to renewable energies – to protect the climate, the rainforests and indigenous peoples,” explains Wolter. Since the beginning of 2018, Yarinacocha has been Cologne's twin city in the Peruvian Amazon department of Pucallpa.
The Climate Alliance Tour to South America
In March and April 2019, a delegation undertook a tour in Ecuador, Peru and Brazil in support of Climate Alliance’s indigenous partners and climate partnerships. Climate Alliance President and Mayor of Cologne Andreas Wolter, Climate Alliance Executive Director Thomas Brose and Climate Alliance Austria Executive Director Markus Hafner-Auinger were part of the Climate Alliance delagation.
The Green Footprint campaign is underway!
This year's launch of the pan European Green Footprint campaign on 9 April took place in Hesperange, Luxembourg. There, Climate Alliance board members symbolically saw the children from the Hesper Heesprénger day-care centre off with their scooters, bikes and inliners on their journey to South America to collect footprints for the global climate. Climate Alliance will present their Green Footprints as well as those of children across Europe to the climate politicians at the 25th UN Climate Conference in Santiago de Chile this December. It will be a clear signal that it is time to act, especially when tens of thousands of children shown them how easy it is to make progress in climate protection.
CITY CYCLING – 2019 campaign begin
Local authorities can again compete against each other with CITY CYCLING. Every year since 2008, the bicycle competition has invited local politicians and citizens to hop on their bicycles in their communities and set an example for sustainable mobility. Participating local authorities choose a period of 21 consecutive days between May and September to carry out the campaign locally. Last year, more than 295,000 cyclists from 885 cities and municipalities around the world took part. Join in!
Change the Future: Local competition for sustainable lifestyles
The new Change the Future tool offers individuals, groups and the whole community the opportunity to shape a good life for all. The tool offers special tips in a variety of areas including energy, mobility, consumption and nutrition. Whether alone or in a team - everyone can act for the climate and more sustainability, collect Changer Points, and show that even small changes in everyday life can make a big contribution. This online tool is free of charge for all Climate Alliance municipalities.
Practice Cube – Empowering Neighbourhoods for Climate Action
Climate Alliance released its new Practice Cube tool during the Empowering Neighbourhoods for Climate Action conference in the Dutch city of Arnhem. “The Practice Cube is meant to inspire climate action on a neighbourhood level,” explains Cassandra Silk, Project Officer at the Climate Alliance. Together with a consortium of municipal actors from Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK Climate Alliance has developed within the Interreg project Climate Neighbourhoods. The group collaborated for more than three years on methods and solutions for realising a low carbon future, increased energy efficiency and a socially just energy transition on the neighbourhood level. The Practice Cube offers best practice examples for municipalities interested in strengthening local climate action from a bottom-up perspective.
Designing adaptation strategies and action plans
13 June 2019, Webinar from 11:00 – 12:30 CEST
Following the webinar on conducting a Risk and Vulnerability Assessment, the next edition of the Covenant of Mayors adaptation webinar series will focus on designing a strategy and action plan for adaptation to climate change impacts. City practitioners will present various aspects of this process, including how to identify and prioritise possible adaptation measures, how to engage with citizens and other stakeholders and how to build on existing policies. A tool that facilitates the identification of adaptation measures to address a range of climate change hazards will also be presented.
POWER – Addressing Water Challenges by Citizen Engagement
9 - 10 October 2019 in Brussels
Join the POWER Conference and learn more about the POWER Digital Social Platform – a tool that aides cities in becoming sufficiently water-wise and be able to face increasing water-related challenges. POWER offers an innovative and effective open source solution to included regions, cities and users, based on a ‘link and scale up’ strategic network effect, which is aiming at social value, scalability, transferability, society empowerment and motivation to act.