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 ICLEI in Europe News

   March 2008

Dear Members, Partners and Friends of ICLEI, We are pleased to send you the new look ICLEI in Europe newsletter. As always, it is full of the latest news from ICLEI and our partners for urban sustainability!
You can also read these news and find more information on the topics at Don't hesitate to send your news and information at
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In this issue:

  1. ICLEI member news
  2. Lord Mayor of Freiburg represents ICLEI at WIREC 2008
  3. Local governments for biodiversity
  4. Local Renewables communities featured in Global Status Report
  5. Cities turn off the lights for climate change
  6. TV campaign promotes public transport in alleviating climate change
  7. Combat climate change and fuel poverty by insulating every home
  8. World Water Day
  9. A single source of information about Low Emission Zones in Europe
  10. Energy education at school
  11. Marion Hammerl wins Environmental Prize
  12. New events
  13. Event reminders

1. ICLEI member news

ICLEI member Koprinivca wins the European Mobility Week Award 2008

Participant of European Mobility Week (EMW) since 2002, ICLEI member city Koprinivca (Croatia) received the European Mobility Award 2008 from the European Commissioner for Environment, Stavros Dimas, on 13 February 2008.

This Award was created to reward local authorities' activities in the framework of the EMW, which aims at encouraging citizens to change their travel behaviour and shift to more sustainable modes of transport.

Koprinivca made its urban areas more sustainable by promoting soft transport modes, such as walking and cycling. It also launched a three year programme called 'Streets for People' which will work towards making the city accessible to all, promoting new alternative fuels for public transport vehicles and reallocating road space to non-motorised traffic.

For more information on the event, click here.
To visit the European Mobility Week website:

ICLEI & CCP cities beacons in tackling climate change

Four European CCP (ICLEI'S Cities for Climate Protection Campaign) and ICLEI cities have recently been awarded with the beacon status for tackling climate change: Woking Borough Council (CCP participant and ICLEI member), Middlesborough Council (CCP participant), Worcestershire County Council (CCP participant) and the City of London (ICLEI member).

The Beacon Scheme is a prestigious award scheme that recognises excellence in local government. It was set up to disseminate best practice across local  government. Themes are selected for each round of the scheme by government ministers.

Learn more about the Beacon Scheme here.

ICLEI member city Tatabánya commits to climate protection

New ICLEI Member Tatabánya (Hungary) has developed the first Hungarian local climate change strategy. Its development was supported by a local climate group and researchers of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The strategy includes priorities, short-and long-term plans, and concrete steps to be taken by the city management.

Together with four other Hungarian cities, it has also formed an Alliance of Climate Friendly Settlements. The local work plan for 2008 includes setting up a carbon offset system with a pre-set menu of carbon offsetting opportunities. Local companies and all other stakeholders are invited to use the benefits of this system, thus contributing to the implementation of the climate strategy.

An extensive environmental educational campaign has also been launched, as well as an Energy Championship in all public institutions of the city. In addition, the basic statutes of climate friendly preschools and schools in Hungary are also being developed.

2. Lord Mayor of Freiburg represents ICLEI at WIREC 2008

From 4 - 6 March 2008, the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC) brought together government, civil society and private business leaders to address the benefits and costs of a major and rapid scale-up in the global deployment of renewable energy technology.

During a session on renewable energy for State and Local Authorities, Dieter Salomon, ICLEI Executive Committee member and Lord Mayor of member city Freiburg (Germany), spoke on behalf of the association and presented the rationale for sustainable energy at the local level. He also described the barriers to effective involvement of local governments for renewable energy scale-up, highlighting a lack of expertise and difficulty affecting centralized energy generation.

For more information about the event, see the International Institute
for Sustainable Development (IISD) report or visit the conference website.

3. Local governments for biodiversity

Countdown 2010, an initiative from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), is a powerful network of active partners working together towards the 2010 biodiversity targets. Local and regional authorities manage large areas of land, often the majority of a country's land. In many cases, they play an important role in approving land-use changes and they plan and implement infrastructure development. They are often in charge of setting long term development strategies and are responsible for overseeing the land-use in their areas.

Local authorities, whether they are a large city, a region or a small municipality, are therefore crucial to communicate the 2010 biodiversity targets and to take action to halt the loss of biodiversity. They are also a key actor to directly involve their citizens in the process of halting the loss of biodiversity.

Countdown 2010 has therefore decided to join forces with ICLEI and other partners to promote the 2010 biodiversity targets at the local level. Countdown 2010 is happy to announce that it now has more than 160 local governments' partners who have committed to go the extra mile to save biodiversity by selecting two commitments relevant to their area and activities.

For more information on biodiversity or if you want to find out more what local governments are doing for biodiversity, please visit or contact Elisa Calcaterra.

4. Local Renewables communities featured in Global Status Report

ICLEI and its Local Renewables Initiative contributed to the Municipal Policies Section of the 'Renewables 2007 - Global Status Report', published by REN21 on February.

The Renewable Energy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), in its 2007 Report, paints an encouraging picture of rapidly expanding renewable energy markets, policies, industries, and rural applications around the world. Renewable energy production capacities are expanding as a result of more countries enacting far-reaching policies.

Since 75% of all energy is consumed in urban areas, one section of the report is dedicated to municipal policies on energy. The Local Renewable Initiative contributed information on the innovative actions in Nagpur (India), Betim (Brazil), Freiburg (Germany) and Malmö (Sweden). These cities are living up to their label as Model Communities implementing policy favoring sustainable energy in all aspects of their operations.

'In Germany, the city of Freiburg increased its CO2 reduction target to 30% by 2030, with measures such as co-generation and the building of passive solar houses', cites the report. Renewable energy currently provides 25% of Freiburg's energy consumption and has contributed to the creation of 700 green economy jobs during the last decade.

For more information :

5. Cities turn off the lights for climate change

In support of the WWF initative, Earth Hour, on 29 March at 8pm local time cities from across Europe, North America, Asia and Asia Pacific, including ICLEI member cities Copenhagen, Dublin, Chicago, Melbourne, Sydney and Toronto, turned out the lights and switched on their support for actions that can help make a difference in the most significant challenge facing the world today.

The aim of the campaign is to express that individual action on a mass scale can help change our planet for the better.

The event itself clearly demonstrates in participating cities, the connection between energy usage and climate change, showing that we as broader community can address the biggest threat our planet has ever faced.

Cities were not alone in their efforts: over 19,000 businesses and 250,000 individuals have also pledged their support.

For more information, click here.

6. TV campaign promotes public transport in alleviating climate change

The International Association of Public Transport (UITP), together with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), has developed a joint TV campaign valuing the role of public transport in alleviating climate change.

The advertisement, called "The voice of reason (Aged 6)", is in the style of a child's drawing and shows the world through a little girl's eyes, which conveys an emotional appeal and a voice of hope. This animated 30 second commercial - available in English, French, German and Spanish, will run across nine international stations, including BBC World, CNN or EuroNews.

This spot was officially launched on 21 February 2008 in the framework of the UNEP Tenth Special Session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum before a panel of international experts.

The internet version of the video can be viewed and downloaded here.
For more information contact Aline Talabard.

7. Combat climate change and fuel poverty by insulating every home

The Local Government Association (LGA), a cross-party organisation representing councils in England and Wales, published a new report called "Switch off, switched on - how to cut every household's carbon footprint and energy bill", which sets out an action plan to ensure every home in Great Britain is insulated. This would cut carbon emissions by more than 20%, extensively reduce household energy bills and help eliminate fuel poverty, according to the report.

To achieve this, energy suppliers would contribute the same as consumers currently do to the current Carbon Emission Reduction Target (CERT) scheme.  The LGA is also advocating a stronger role for local councils in how the public's money is spent to make homes more energy efficient. This report marks the launch of the LGA's Small Change, Big Difference campaign on climate change.

To download the report click here.

8. World Water Day

This year, World Water Day was celebrated by the United Nations on 20 March and highlighted issues on sanitation.

The UN General Assembly declared the year 2008 the International Year of Sanitation. The goal is to raise awareness and accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goal target to reduce by half the proportion of the 2,6 billion people without access to basic sanitation by 2015.

The issue of water and water resource management is also addressed by ICLEI. Through its Logo Water project, the idea of integrated water resource management, a total approach to water management, is being brought to local governments of Southern Africa.

For more information click here.

9. A single source of information about Low Emission Zones in Europe

Over 70 cities and towns in eight countries around Europe, including ICLEI member cities London (United Kingdom), Berlin (Germany) and Rotterdam (Netherlands), have installed, or are preparing, "Low Emission Zones" (LEZs), also known as "Environment Zones", to help meet the health-based air quality standards set by the European Union.

LEZs are areas where the most polluting vehicles are regulated, which means they may be banned or charged if they enter the LEZ when their emissions are over a set level.

Run on behalf of a Network of LEZ cities and ministries, helps drivers and vehicle operators to understand LEZs, and gives information on vehicle emissions standards, air quality targets or impact of LEZs on air quality.

For more information click here.

10. Energy education at school

A project of the European Environmental Communication Networks (EECN) entitled "Integration of Active Learning and Energy Monitoring within Schools Curriculum", won the 2008 award of the Sustainable Energy Europe in the category "Promotional, Communication and Educational Actions". This project aims to reduce  energy use in school buildings and homes by teaching children rational use of energy, renewable energy sources and transport through hands-on activities. It advocates children as an important resource in their own education rather than passive receivers of information.

A toolkit on active learning has been developed, and will be available online in 14 European languages.

More information can be found here [PDF 576 KB].

11. Marion Hammerl wins Environmental Prize

Marion Hammerl, president of the Global Nature Fund and a close collaborator with ICLEI Europe, was awarded the Trophée de Femmes Environmental Prize 2007/2008 for her work in the protection of lakes worldwide. This prize, awarded annually by the Yves Rocher Foundation, recognizes outstanding efforts of women, in the fields of environmental protection and conservation. 

For over 20 years, Marion Hammerl has been committed to the protection of the environment and set an exemple in this field, co-founding  organisations such as the Fundación Global Nature in Spain, Ecotrans (network for tourism and environment) and Ecocamping (environmental management at camping grounds). For over ten years she has been executive director of the Lake Constance Foundation, which works towards the protection of nature and environment in that region.

Congratulations Marion !

For further information click here.

12. New events

Cities of the Future forum
8-10 April 2008
, Brussels (Belgium)

ICLEI will be present at the Committee of the Regions (CoR) forum on 'Cities of the Future' on 8-10 April, which aims to highlight best practice in sustainable urban development, energy, mobility, transport and housing.

The event, which takes place in parallel to the CoR plenary session, is organised in partnership with the European Commission Directorates General for Energy & Transport and Enterprise & Industry, and Eurocities.

ICLEI is a partner of the forum and will be represented at the event by Maryke van Staden, coordinator of ICLEI's European Cities for Climate Protection Campaign, and Peter Defranceschi, Sustainable Procurement. During a special workshop they will also present the ICLEI vision of a City of the Future.

For more information, click here [PDF 408 KB]

4th National Finnish Municipal Conference on Climate Issues,
6 - 7 May 2008, Tampere (Finland)

During the upcoming 4th national Finnish municipal conference on climate issues in Tampere, taking place on 6 - 7 May 2008, Maryke van Staden, coordinator of the European Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) campaign, will address international developments in community climate protection, the Local Government Roadmap from Bali to Poznan to Copenhagen, featured in this month's European Circular, and the global Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) Campaign.

CCP Finland is currently the strongest national campaign in the European CCP Campaign, with 51 participating cities and towns. It is coordinated by the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities (AFLRA), which supports the implementation of the CCP 5-milestone process of the participating communities.

More information on the event (in Finnish) here.
More information on AFLRA (in English) here.

13. Event reminders

Bridging the Gap Conference
"Responding to Environmental Change - From Words to Deeds"
14 - 16 May 2008, Portoroz (Slovenia)

ICLEI European Membership Convention
22 - 25 June 2008, Zaragoza (Spain)

World Water Week
17 - 23 August 2008, Stockholm (Sweden)

Feedback? Questions? Please let us know! If you have any further questions, would like to give feedback on ICLEI's work in Europe or would like to be taken off this mailing list, please contact us at:

The ICLEI in Europe newsletter is produced by the European Secretariat of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability. Copies are available on request. Editors: Stefan Kuhn (responsible), Ciara Leonard, Lydie Gerboin.

Comments and questions are welcome - please write to Lydie Gerboin at, Leopoldring 3, 79098 Freiburg, Germany,Tel: +49-761/36 89 2-0,

ICLEI is a membership organisation of local governments and their associations. To date more than 800 municipalities and municipal associations of all sizes from around the world have made a unique commitment to sustainable development by joining ICLEI. They support the work of ICLEI through their membership fees as well as through their experience and creativity in the development and implementation of projects and campaigns to address the globe's biggest problems. Within the organisation they are part of a network of peers that can profit from each other's knowledge. For membership information please have a look at our website or contact:

copyright 2008 ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH, Freiburg, Germany. All rights reserved.