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ICLEI in Europe News
December 2011 www.iclei-europe.org

Dear Members, Partners and Friends of ICLEI,

We are pleased to send you the latest news on ICLEI in Europe and our partners for urban sustainability!

You can also read these news articles and find more information on the topics at www.iclei-europe.org.

Don't hesitate to send your news and information to information.services@iclei.org.

  1. Member News
  2. Local governments in Durban face up to growing climate change concerns
  3. ICLEI prepares for Rio +20
  4. European Capitals of Biodiversity lead the way to a greener future
  5. Procura+ Campaign gains four new members
  6. ICLEI pledges to support cities as part of Green Pilgrimage Network
  7. Lithuania joins the drive towards lifecycle costing and assessment
  8. Sustainable NOW project publishes results of energy action plans
  9. Energy efficient technology vital to sustaining information age
  10. Book of the month
  11. New events
  12. Event reminders

1. ICLEI Member News

Budapest greens water treatment

Copyright: HuzheadICLEI member city Budapest (Hungary) is looking to revolutionise its water strategy with a new wastewater treatment plant. The new facility will ensure that 95 percent of the city’s wastewater is returned to the River Danube following biological treatment. Furthermore, the small area occupied by the technology in question will allow the complete vicinity of the plant to remain a green belt zone.

László Kóthay, State Secretary for Water of the Ministry of Environment and Water says, “Hungary will be contributing significantly to the objectives of the Danube Protection Convention – prevention of transboundary impacts, protection of the Danube, maintenance and improvement of the conditions of the river.”

Approximately 600,000m3 of wastewater is discharged from Budapest households every day. Less than 50 percent of this is treated biologically by the city’s two other wastewater treatment plants, with the rest being discharged untreated into the river. This is not only a significant environmental load, but also negatively impacts public health in the Hungarian capital.

For further information, click here.

 

Scotland's largest flood prevention scheme launched

Glasgow City Council (Scotland) has launched a pioneering £53m flood prevention scheme. Speaking at the opening on 31 October 2011, council leader Gordon Matheson said, "The scheme is not just about great engineering, at its heart it is a regeneration project - both in terms of the environmental improvements and the significant enhancements made to allow future economic development to take place."

90,000 metres2 of rich and diverse wetland habitats, such as woodland, scrub, wet grasslands and ponds, has been created to help reduce flood risk, and the natural environment has been further enhanced by planting trees.

The groundbreaking project will protect about 1,750 homes and 45 businesses along the river from the damage and misery of flooding and passed its first major flooding test earlier this year, helping to prevent damage during heavy rains in February.

For further information, click here.

 

Cascais eBikers welcome new solar charging stations

Cascais (Portugal) is Copyright: CIVITASthe proud new owner of two solar-powered charging stations. The set is the first of its kind to be installed in Portugal and each unit is equipped with four electric bikes. These will be integrated into the city’s free public bicycle sharing scheme, which currently boasts 60 regular bicycles, accounting for an average 27,000 trips per year.

Partially funded by Dena, the German Energy Agency which promotes German renewable energy companies on an international level, the new charging stations emit no CO₂ or other pollutants under normal running conditions.

Once fully charged, the bikes can run for about 70 km. Moreover, their top speed of 25 km/h and seven gear mechanism, coupled with the relatively smooth terrain of Cascais, makes the new bicycles an ideal choice for most trips within the municipality.

For further information, click here.

2. Local governments in Durban face up to growing climate change concerns

History was made in Durban (South Africa) on 4 December 2011 when 114 mayors and other local leaders representing over 950 local governments from around the globe, came together to sign the Durban Adaptation Charter, a political commitment to strengthening local resilience to climate change. The announcement came as the ICLEI-organised Durban Local Government Convention, which ran in parallel to COP17 from 2-4 December, drew to a close.

By signing the Charter, local governments have committed to unprecedented levels of local climate action. They are pledging to integrate climate change adaptation at the centre of development planning, while ensuring that adaptation and mitigation strategies are aligned. They are further committed to inclusive adaptation that recognises the needs of vulnerable communities and ensures sustainable local economic development.

For the past nine days, delegates from nearly 200 countries have set up camp in Durban for the 17th UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP17. The event, which continues until 9 December, aims to assess progress made in the area of climate change and seeks to advance the implementation of the Kyoto protocol. ICLEI representatives in Durban hope to underline the key role to be played by local governments and the enormous potential for local climate action.

For further information, click here.

3. ICLEI prepares for Rio +20

ICLEI’s Rio+20 local action counterThe 20th UN Conference on Sustainable Development, better known as Rio+20, is set to take place in June 2012. Much is at stake at the event, with the ultimate goal of setting the world on the right track in terms of sustainable development. Acting as the mouthpiece of cities, ICLEI highlights the importance of local action in the negotiations and pushes for urban actors to be brought on board in the quest for sustainable development.

As part of the Rio+20 process, the actors involved have the opportunity to bring their knowledge and insights to the table through their submissions to the so-called Rio+20 zero draft. ICLEI's contribution to the zero draft calls for Rio+20 to be a turning point in the management of current global trends such as population growth, urbanization, global warming and biodiversity loss.

Regarding the challenges posed by the increasing speed of urbanisation, ICLEI sees a green urban economy as a much-needed step in the right direction. At the global level, local governments must be recognized as a partner in policy formulation and implementation.

In the meantime, the number of cities added to ICLEI’s Rio+20 local action counter has passed 2,000. The counter aims to acknowledge municipalities engaged in sustainable development action and encourage others to follow their lead. If your city has joined the push towards sustainable development, ICLEI invites you to register it on the counter. Alternatively you can embed the counter on your website.

For further information, click here.

4. European Capitals of Biodiversity lead the way to a greener future

ICLEI member Montpellier receives award from Janez PotočnikICLEI members Montpellier (France) and Hannover (Germany) were among those taking centre-stage as winners of the European Capitals of Biodiversity competition. The victorious municipalities, chosen from over 500 municipalities from France, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia and Spain, received their award from European Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik, at the tenth edition of ICLEI’s Breakfast at Sustainability’s event.

The Commissioner took the opportunity to highlight the central role of local authorities in biodiversity preservation saying, “We have to get European villages, towns and cities on board to be key actors for biodiversity management on the local level. Moreover they are the key players in bringing the message of the importance of biodiversity on our doorstep across to their citizens.”

The Capitals of Biodiversity competition aims to sustain local biodiversity in Europe and facilitate the exchange of know-how and best practices. An incredible 520 municipalities representing 40 million European citizens took part in the competitions in 2010 and 2011.

For further information, click here.

5. Procura+ Campaign gains four new members

ICLEI member city Koprivnica (Croatia), the Ihobe Environmental Agency, the City of Regensburg (Germany) and the Province of Rome (Italy) have become the latest additions to the Procura+ campaign, joining cities from across Europe and beyond in the drive towards sustainable public procurement.

Public authorities in Europe spend €1.5 trillion a year on goods and services, and simple steps such as constructing energy efficient public buildings or buying low emission vehicles can have a huge impact in steering the market towards sustainability. ICLEI established Procura+ in 2004 to support public authorities in implementing sustainable procurement and promote their achievements.

For further information, click here.

6. ICLEI pledges to support cities as part of Green Pilgrimage Network

HRH Princess Michael of Kent; The Hon Mrs Sara Morrison, Vice President Emeritus of WWF International; Naomi Tsur, Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, as the city of Jerusalem becomes a founder member of the Green Pilgrimage Network Copyright: ARCA ban on cars on pilgrimage routes, solar panels for cathedral roofs, and the planting of thousands of trees around sacred sites - these are just some of the initiatives which the founder members of the Green Pilgrimage Network pledged to implement at the launch event in Assisi (Italy) last week. ICLEI is a partner of the Network, and Secretariats in both Europe and South Asia will support cities in creating and implementing their action plans.

ICLEI member city Jerusalem (Israel) was present at the launch as a founding member, and city authorities have already committed to restoring the currently polluted Kidron Valley, the major pilgrim ascent to Jerusalem for Jews, Christians and Muslims. Around 100,000 people a year make the pilgrimage, according to the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), the main organisation behind the Network.

Secretary General of ARC, Martin Palmer said, “Cities from China to Norway and faiths from all around the world commit to making one of the most powerful religious experiences – pilgrimage – a living witness to a commitment to protect our living planet.” The Network brings together faiths and local governments to make their pilgrim cities and sacred sites as environmentally sustainable as possible.

To view the draft Green Pilgrimage Network handbook, click here.

7. Lithuania joins the drive towards lifecycle costing and assessment

Green public procurement has gained an influential supporter. The Central Project Management Agency (CPMA) is the central purchasing body in Lithuania and currently manages framework contracts for over 600 public authorities. An avid promoter of environmentally friendly public procurement, the CPMA has decided to go green and train its staff in the use of lifecycle costing, CO2 and lifecycle assessments.

In November 2011, the CPMA teamed up with ICLEI to hold a three-day training course discussing and testing current approaches, guidance and tools. The event was an outstanding success, providing those present with practical information and inspiration.

Some of the tools explored at the workshop include the SMART SPP LCC-CO2 tool and the JUHILAS carbon footprint calculator, invaluable in the move towards green public procurement. The tools will be available at ICLEI’s online SMART SPP resource centre which launches next week.

For further information, click here.

8. Sustainable NOW project publishes results of energy action plans

Sustainable energy strategies are at the core of the Sustainable NOW project, Copyright: Nomadic Lass (Flickr)Following the official completion of the Sustainable NOW project, a brochure collecting experiences of partners in developing their local sustainable energy action plans (known as LEAPs or SEAPs) has been published. It gives readers the opportunity to learn about the benefits of such plans and use its step-by-step guide to successfully implement them.

ICLEI coordinated the Sustainable NOW project which seeks to strengthen the role of local and regional governments in the transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy sources. Energy experts and policy-makers, as well as anybody with an interest in the topic, are invited to explore the initiative’s outcomes and be inspired by the ideas presented.

To read the brochure, click here.

9. Energy efficient technology vital to sustaining information age

In the face of limited resources, the world needs to make drastic changes to its energy infrastructure and consumption patterns. Although industries, institutions and public administrations are beginning to adopt sustainable energy policies, at the same time information technology has become indispensable in our lives, with data interchange doubling every two years.

Therefore, a solution that seeks to marry energy efficiency and highly complex IT structures is desperately needed. The EU-funded PrimeEnergyIT project, in which ICLEI is a partner, supports market development for energy efficient IT equipment, including server, data storage and network equipment, as well as new power management technologies.

Consult the project website for an overview of current technologies that support energy efficiency both for IT and infrastructure, with a focus on IT technology. Recommendations for best practice highlight promising options to be considered in management and procurement to support energy and cost efficiency.

For further information, click here.

10. Book of the Month

Governing for Sustainable Urban DevelopmentGoverning for Sustainable Urban Development

Urban sustainability is one of the most pressing issues facing planners, governments and communities. This book aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of sustainable urban development and to examine the processes by which change in the planning and development of urban areas can be achieved.

The author considers an array of policy tools that influence urban development, drawing on a wide range of existing research, policy and literature as well as real-life case study material.

The chapters are accessible and insightful, weaving links between dominant areas to arrive at an integrated approach. The book is essential reading for students, academics and professionals working to achieve sustainability in planning, urban design and architecture.

Y. Rydan, Earthscan, UK 2010 ISBN 9781844078196

11. New events


CHAMP conference supports local action to combat changing climate
In the face of a rapidly changing climate, the CHAMP project worked towards fulfilling the EU environmental and climate change commitments in a cost-effective way by supporting local action. Its final conference, taking place online from 14-15 December 2011, aims to present its results. Participants will get the opportunity to explore an integrated approach to local climate work as well as solutions to the need for continuous capacity building among local authorities. Furthermore, discussions will connect EU policies to the work of local authorities.

For further information, click here.

 

 


CARE-North's final conference showcases climate-friendly transport solutions

The final CARE-North conference, taking place from 20-21 March 2012 in Bremen (Germany), will present the outcomes of the project, which focused on developing innovative carbon reduction strategies for urban and regional transport in the context of climate change and declining oil supplies.

As the North Sea Region works to deal with the effects of climate change, predominant use of traditional modes of transport is leading to a continued increase in CO2 emissions. The cities and regions involved in CARE-North have developed and implemented lighthouse projects, which has allowed for an analysis of the drivers and barriers for their potential replication in cities across Europe.

For further information, click here.

12. Event reminders


Rio+20 –Nachhaltig vor Ort
7 – 9 December 2011, Hannover (Germany)


Carbon Aware Travel CHoice (CATCH)
13 December 2011, Bristol (UK)

Feedback? Questions? 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, contact us at: information.services@iclei.org


The ICLEI in Europe newsletter is produced by the European Secretariat of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability. Copies are available on request. Editor: Angela Kennedy, Ailish O'Donoghue (responsible).

Comments and questions are welcome - please write to Angela Kennedy at information.services@iclei.org, Leopoldring 3, 79098 Freiburg, Germany,Tel: +49-761/36 89 2-0, www.iclei-europe.org.


ICLEI is a membership organisation of local governments and their associations. To date more than 1,000 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: membership.services@iclei.org.


Copyright 2011 ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH, Freiburg, Germany. All rights reserved.

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