Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser
ICLEI in Europe News
May 2012 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. ICLEI Member News
  2. Copenhagen, Bristol and Frankfurt finalists for European Green Capital 2014
  3. Call for cities to join ICLEI-led climate adaptation project
  4. ICLEI and Koahsiung sign host agreement for sustainability centre
  5. Positive expectations for Rio+20 concluded at Breakfast at Sustainability’s
  6. German Sustainability Award for cities and towns open for entries
  7. Book of the month
  8. New events
  9. Event reminders

1. ICLEI Member News

ICLEI European REXCom 2012-2015 unanimously adopted

The proposed composition of the European REXCom 2012-2015 has been unanimously accepted by all ICLEI members that took part in the voting process. The REXCom members will serve for a three-year term on the basis of pre-defined portfolios. Five special advisors have been confirmed by the voters. The advisors will offer advice on topical issues regarding all portfolios, as well as represent ICLEI as appropriate, but they will not have voting rights.

From within each REXCom one representative is nominated to the ICLEI Global Executive Committee (GEXCom), which is the overall governing body representing the entire ICLEI membership. All the members of ICLEI’s REXComs form the ICLEI Council. The Council represents ICLEI’s global membership by way of representative democracy. It is the supreme decision-making and oversight body of the global association.

For more information, click here.

 

Dublin signs Mexico City Pact to combat global climate change

Lord Mayor of ICLEI member Dublin (Ireland), Andrew Montague, has signed the Global Cities Covenant on Climate - the Mexico City Pact, joining 240 cities in over 50 countries to combat global climate change. By signing the Pact, the city commits to ten action points, including the reduction of emissions, adaptation to climate change and fostering city-to-city cooperation.

The Mexico City Pact is a voluntary initiative of mayors and local authority representatives to enhance cities’ role and efforts in advancing climate action. Signatories are expected to report their climate commitments, performance and actions regularly through the carbonn Cities Climate Registry.

The Global Cities Covenant on Climate – the Mexico City Pact is nominated for the prestigious Prince of Asturias Awards 2012 in the category of International Cooperation. The nomination is supported by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UN-HABITAT, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

For more information, click here.

 
Aalborg installs innovative LED-lights system for cyclists

ICLEI member Aalborg (Denmark) has installed an innovative system of LED-lights in the cycle path of a central intersection to facilitate faster access for cyclists. The lights were installed as part of the city’s involvement in the CIVITAS Initiative, in which ICLEI is a partner.

Cyclists can now follow a series of green light lanes in the cycle path during the day. At night these green lights are automatically activated at part of the intersection. The LED-lights are installed between the university and the city centre and have been integrated into the regular traffic light system.

To activate them during the night, cyclists have to pass a detector in the cycle path around 200 meters before the intersection. The new service is based on the idea that if cyclists follow the green lights lane at 18km per hour, they will get a green light at the intersection. Even though the concept is relatively simple, it is the first time this advanced technological system has been implemented in the city.

For more information, click here.

 

Helsinki builds Finland’s largest ecological residential complex

ICLEI member Helsinki (Finland) is carrying out the construction of a new residential complex built largely out of wood. The initiative is part of the city’s apartment building project, which aims at looking for ecological housing alternatives with increased energy efficiency, better flexibility and more choice.The project is the largest residential multi-storey complex built with wood in Finland to date.

The energy efficiency of the new buildings is rated A, which will meet tightening requirements in the future.Wooden structures act as carbon sinks throughout the life of the building. Compared to conventional concrete structures, the manufacture and transportation of wooden elements consumes less energy, the construction process is faster, and lighter machinery can be used due to the lighter-weight material.

For more information, click here. 

2. Copenhagen, Bristol and Frankfurt finalists for European Green Capital 2014

The cities of Copenhagen (Denmark), Bristol (UK) and Frankfurt (Germany) have been shortlisted for the 2014 European Green Capital award, which will be presented to a city at the vanguard of environmentally friendly urban living. An independent panel of experts will evaluate the cities based on their record of achieving high environmental standards, their commitment to ongoing and ambitious goals for further environmental improvement and sustainable development, and the extent to which they can promote best practice in other European cities.The cities will present their vision, action plans, and communication strategy to a jury on 8 June 2012 in Brussels (Belgium).

The finalists of the 2014 edition submitted their entries in twelve different areas, including local contribution to fighting global climate change, local transport, and green urban areas incorporating sustainable land use.The jury comprises representatives from the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions, the European Environment Agency, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Covenant of Mayors Office, and the European Environmental Bureau. The verdict will be delivered at an award ceremony in Vitoria-Gasteiz on 29 June 2012.

For more information, click here.

3. Call for cities to join ICLEI-led climate adaptation project

The European Commission has launched the project Adaptation Strategies for European Cities to provide capacity building and support for European cities in developing and implementing an adaptation strategy to climate change. The project, led by AEA and ICLEI for the Directorate-General for Climate Action, aims to raise awareness throughout Europe on the importance of preparing for climate change in cities. Those cities interested in getting involved as one of the 21 participants are invited to complete the survey here, which is designed to obtain an overview of the state of play in cities in preparing for adaptation.

The resolution Making cities resilient was recently adopted by the Council of Europe to raise awareness among citizens and local governments on the benefits of reducing urban risks, and integrating potential disaster risk into cities’ planning. The new text, based on a report drafted by ICLEI Europe on behalf of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, supports the United Nations World Disaster Reduction Campaign.

ICLEI is involved in several climate adaptation projects worldwide, such as the Resilient Cities Congress, which will be held in Bonn (Germany) from 12-15 May 2012, and will offer a global forum for learning, cooperation and networking on all aspects of urban resilience and climate change adaptation.

For more information, click here.

4. ICLEI and Koahsiung sign host agreement for sustainability centre

ICLEI and Kaohsiung city government (Taiwan/Chinese Taipei) have signed a host agreement to establish the ICLEI-Kaohsiung Capacity Centre on sustainability for ICLEI’s East Asian members. ICLEI’s Deputy Secretary-General, Gino Van Begin, signed the collaboration programme with Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu and Deputy Mayor Liu in a ceremony on 16 April 2012.

Mr. Van Begin emphasised the need for the facility, and said that in the future the capacity centre will improve its East Asian members’ ability to adapt to climate change and address other issues, such as biodiversity and water resource management. It is expected that the centre will begin operations around June 2012.

For more information, click here.

5. Positive expectations for Rio+20 concluded at Breakfast at Sustainability’s

The 11th Breakfast at Sustainability’s, hosted by the Hanse-Office of ICLEI member Hamburg, discussed European Commission and local government expectations for Rio+20, and local level contributions to a green economy. The event, held in Brussels (Belgium) on 26 April 2012, focused on possible outcomes of the UN-conference, particularly regarding local sustainability processes in Europe. Representatives from ICLEI, Brussels Capital Region (Belgium), the City of Rotterdam (Netherlands), and Basque Environmental Management Agency (IHOBE) participated in the event.

Nicholas Hanley, from the European Commission's DG Environment, presented on the EU position for Rio+20. He argued that Green Economy should be seen as inclusive of sustainability in all aspects of the economy, and not be parallel to a brown economy. ICLEI's Stefan Kuhn shared the outcomes of ICLEI's global study on 20 years of Local Agenda 21, which was one of the main outcomes of Rio 1992. The study identified typologies on how local governments across the world have picked up on Local Agenda 21 in terms of process.

For more information, click here.

6. German Sustainability Award for cities and towns open for entries

The fifth edition of the German Sustainability Award is open for entries until 31 May 2012. For the first time, the award is not only aimed at businesses but also at German cities and municipalities. An initiative of the German Sustainability Award Foundation in collaboration with the Federal Government, the German Council for Sustainable Development, trade associations, NGOs, and research facilities, the award will focus on cities and municipalities that have developed innovative sustainability projects, despite having limited financial resources.

The directors of ICLEI’s Sustainability Management and Urban Governance team will be involved in selecting the shortlist for the competition. A jury, which includes Executive Director for ICLEI Europe, Wolfgang Teubner will then choose the winner. The results of the contest will be presented at a formal gala in Dusseldorf (Germany) on 6 December 2012, which is also German Sustainability Day. 

For more information, click here. [In German]

7. Book of the month


Environmental Management Systems in Local Public Authorities. A Comparative Study of the Introduction and Implementation of EMAS in the United Kingdom and Germany


The “Eco-Management and Audit Scheme” (EMAS) is a European regulation which has been in use since 1995 and was revised in 2001. The study deals with the development of the regulation both on a European and national level, analysing EMAS in modern local public administrations in the UK and Germany. The author has structured a quantitative analysis based on the organisations’ different political and institutional settings, coming to the conclusion that the organisational processes are mostly dependent on the leading figures within each organisation.

In this respect, the book as a whole contributes to theoretical and conceptual debate, providing material for researchers, policy-makers, European Institutions and many other stakeholders with an interest in learning from the past to fulfil ongoing research needs regarding EMAS, and for the future development and use of New Environmental Policy Instruments. The basic idea of these instruments is to be more flexible and adaptive to the specific needs of its users, rather than continuing with the old command-and-control structure – no longer appropriate as the EU expands.

This book is a well-written text for those who are engaged in policy studies and provides materials for researchers, policy makers and international agencies. The arguments are expressed in a readable and straightforward manner and the book can be recommended on many grounds, particularly as an entry point to a wider debate.

M. Jungwirth, Germany 2011, ISBN: 9783631595312

8. New events


Registration opens for Local Renewables Freiburg 2012


The registration for the fifth Local Renewables Conference, held from 25-26 October 2012 in ICLEI member city Freiburg (Germany), is now open. This year’s event will focus on the optimisation of renewable energy production and its use in an urban-regional context, with special attention given to the potential for investment and economic benefit. Those interested in attending this edition can register here.

The conference aims to create a stronger link between researchers and practitioners and to connect municipal leaders, solution providers and utility executives, enabling them to share challenges and achievements in implementing innovative solutions. The preliminary programme includes sessions looking into the smart grids concept within the European energy and sustainable development approach, as well as the optimisation of renewable energy production by enhancing urban-regional cooperation.

Practical workshops will explore cutting-edge technology options and regional renewable energy concepts linked to pilot projects developing smart grids. Representatives from cities and towns, decision-makers from various levels of government, energy service providers and energy experts are welcome to join the event to share, learn and discuss ways in which smart grids and solutions can be shaped.

For more information, click here.

9. Event reminders


Resilient Cities 2012
12-15 May 2012, Bonn (Germany)


capaCITY Trainer Workshop
15 May 2012, Sofia (Bulgaria)


capaCITY Stakeholder Involvement Workshop
16 May 2012, Sofia (Bulgaria)


Global Town Hall
13-22 June 2012, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)


ICLEI World Congress 2012
14-17 June 2012, Belo Horizonte (Brazil)


EcoProcura 2012
19 – 21 September 2012, Malmö (Sweden)


Local Renewables 2012: Cities and regions explore smart grids and smart solutions
25 – 26 October 2012, Freiburg (Germany)

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: Miren Hurtado, Sean Carroll, Ciara Leonard (responsible).

Comments and questions are welcome - please write to Miren Hurtado 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 2012 ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH, Freiburg, Germany. All rights reserved.

www.iclei-europe.org