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ICLEI in Europe News
October 2012

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

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  1. Member News
  2. ICLEI addresses UN Secretary General in New York
  3. Enhanced cooperation between ICLEI and China to meet joint sustainability goals
  4. Local Renewables conference marks milestone in ICLEI – Freiburg collaboration
  5. Back to back workshops focus on climate adaptation in European Cities
  6. Positive Green Job analysis can help decision makers at the local level
  7. EcoProcura conference demonstrates power of public procurement to shape the market
  8. Learn how to inspire and support community initiatives at InContext workshops
  9. Book of the month
  10. Events news
  11. Event calendar

1. ICLEI Member News

Swedish ICLEI Members join Earth Hour City Challenge

Active participants in ICLEI’s climate campaign, Växjo and Stockholm (Sweden) have joined the pilot phase of the Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC). Cities and towns from Italy, Norway, Sweden, Canada, the United States and India are invited to report on their local climate targets and actions, in particular on low-carbon development and increasing the use of sustainable energy solutions in their communities. An international jury will review these applications later this year, and six national and one Global Earth Hour Capital of the year will be selected. The EHCC aims to demonstrate the leadership role of local governments in the low carbon transition agenda.

ICLEI Europe supports the campaign by reaching out to candidate cities, motivating their registry in the carbonn Cities Climate Registry (cCCR), as the official reporting mechanism for the Challenge.  To participate in EHCC local governments need to have completed their first greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory for the community, and to have implemented climate change mitigation actions. All local governments meeting these criteria can enlist, regardless of their size. The deadline to register is 19 November.  A video has been produced providing more information on the EHCC.

To inform cities and towns about the Challenge and the cCCR ICLEI and WWF are organising a series of webinars. View the previous session or register for the next webinars taking place on 2 October. ICLEI Europe will also host a webinar in Italian on 9 October. The EHCC is a great opportunity to showcase local climate mitigation action at the international level through a common reporting platform. Engage in this initiative or signal your interest should your country not be included this year – 2013 will offer an expanded version!

For more information, click here.

Sustainable eating promoted at London Food Conference

The Good Food for London Conference kicked off in early September and aimed to highlight sustainable food in the British capital. The event saw the launch of the 2012 Good Food for London report, which documents how boroughs are leading the way in increasing the quality and sustainability of food in the ICLEI Member city.

Speakers at the event included Rosie Boycott, Chair of the London Food Board, Tristram Stuart, author of the book Waste, and Jon Walker of Sustainable Fish City who discussed the London Olympic Food Vision, where Olympic organisers took the sustainability of the food used into account. An estimated 14 million sustainable meals were served as a result of this commitment.

The Good Food for London conference was one of the events put on as part of the Urban Food Week. The conference was organised by the London Food Link, a network that promotes ethical and sustainable food.

For more information, click here.

Madrid City Council pledges to promote fair trade and sustainable timber in Spanish society

ICLEI Member Madrid (Spain) has joined the 'Madera Justa' campaign, an initiative led by the COPADE Foundation that aims to raise awareness on responsible forest management. Specifically, the campaign promotes public procurement and consumption of Fair Trade products in Spanish society, as well as FSC-certified paper and timber products, ensuring that logging operations meet strict environmental, social and economic criteria.

Madrid City Council will be supporting the campaign, having signed a cooperation agreement with COPADE that will see an increase in the City Council's public purchases of fair and sustainable timber products. The agreement underscores the commitment of Madrid City Council for the promotion of responsible consumption and utislisation of the fair trade standard, both within the municipal administration and among economic and social actors, as well as the general public.

The values of the campaign will be highlighted by the council to citizens and businesses. The municipality will also continue to add FSC-certified and Fair Trade products to its municipal contracts and will encourage the presence of organisations dedicated to raising awareness on sustainable timber products in recreational, educational and municipal sports events in the city of Madrid.

For more information, click here [In Spanish].

2. ICLEI addresses UN Secretary General in New York

ICLEI USA Executive Director Michael Schmitz addressed United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and an audience of national government representatives and UN officials on 24 September, urging them to empower the renewable energy initiatives of local governments in order to achieve the ambitious goals in the Secretary General’s global initiative, Sustainable Energy for All. The High-Level event on Sustainable Energy for All took place on the margins of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York (United States).

“It is imperative that national governments and businesses understand that the road to sustainable energy for all runs through the world’s cities and towns,” said Schmitz. “Local governments can play a catalytic role, replicating and rapidly scaling effective solutions. I believe that local government representatives must be centrally involved in the design and implementation of Sustainable Energy for All strategies. Policy frameworks and investments must strengthen their ability to grow the clean-energy economy.”

Sustainable Energy for All focuses on energy strategies for the developing world, and seeks to engage governments and the private sector to achieve three objectives by 2030: providing universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. Major banks and other partners have already committed more than $50 billion to achieve these goals by investing in developing countries.
For more information, contact

For more information, contact

3. Enhanced cooperation between ICLEI and China to meet joint sustainability goals

Cities from the People’s Republic of China have embarked on a number of sustainability activities associated with ICLEI's work, intensifying the good relations between the two. ICLEI Europe attended the recently held EU-China Mayors Forum in ICLEI Member Brussels (Belgium). This flagship event of the EU-China Urbanisation Partnership brought together European and Chinese delegates to share experiences in moving towards sustainable, integrated and efficient solutions in the area of urban management. 

At the International Eco-City Forum, ICLEI Secretary General Konrad Otto-Zimmermann and the Secretary General of the Preparatory Committee for the Chinese Low-Carbon Eco-Cities Association, Prof. Pan Jiahua, signed a Joint Statement whereby partners will establish a platform for exchange between Chinese and foreign eco-cities on their policy approaches, solutions, achievements and experiences.

ICLEI also served as the Global Strategic Partner for the Green City Network at the Eco-Forum Global (EFG) held in Guiyang (China). ICLEI co-organised a half-day session on “Building Eco-cities: Chinese Cities and International Cities”, and Mr. Otto-Zimmerman participated in a TV Summit on “Post Rio+20 – Trend of China’s Green Economic Development”. EFG 2012 was hosted by the CPPCC Committee on Population, Resources, and Environment; the Chinese Ministries of Science and Technology, Environmental Protection and Housing and Urban-Rural Development; Peking University and Guizhou Provincial Government.

Mayor Zhang Jianfei of Changsha City (China) recently hosted ICLEI for a meeting with city officials and site visits. The programme included a visit to the Changsha Pioneer Zone Planning Exhibition Hall, where the city displays its five-year targets, policies, plans, projects and achievements, and Yanghu Wetland Park, which combines nature conservation with infrastructure for recreation. The meeting served to explore how Chinese cities can most effectively engage with ICLEI and benefit from global networking.

For more information, click here.

4. Local Renewables conference marks milestone in ICLEI – Freiburg collaboration

The latest edition of Local Renewables “Cities and regions explore smart grids and smart solutions” marks the fifth edition of the Local renewable series, as well as 20 years of collaboration between ICLEI and member city Freiburg. Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany) is a renowned Green City and European Green Capital Award finalist, and is the host city of the ICLEI European Secretariat. Registration is available online.

The 2012 conference will focus on smart grids (electricity but also integrating heating / cooling) and the optimisation of renewable energy production. Close cooperation and interconnection between cities and regions is essential in this context. A mixture of plenary sessions and interactive workshops promises to shed light onto how communities can achieve carbon neutrality by understanding the political framework and the financing models and mechanisms, while learning from innovative leading projects like EcoGrid EU and E-Energy, as well as how to use cutting-edge technologies from smart regions and cities like Salzburg and Kalundborg.

High level speakers from EDSO for Smart Grids, European Renewable Energies Federation (EREF), REN21, DG Energy, EU Committee of the Regions, and B.A.U.M Consult will address participants. The conference promises to create a stronger link between researchers and practitioners by providing a platform to connect municipal leaders with innovative solution providers, and allow utility executives to share their achievements and challenges in implementing innovative solutions.

For more information, click here.

5. Back to back workshops focus on climate adaptation in European Cities

A new workshop taking place as part of the ICLEI-led Adaptation Strategies for EU Cities initiative will be held on 9 October in ICLEI Member city Brussels (Belgium). Titled "Climate Change Adaptation and EU Cities", the workshop will further explore options for active participation of communities in building sustainable, inclusive and resilient urban environments.

The workshop is organised by DG Climate Action and DG Regional Policy in collaboration with ICLEI. ICLEI Europe’s Holger Robrecht will facilitate the workshop, which includes participants such as Alexandra van Huffelen, Vice-Mayor of Rotterdam (Netherlands) and Vice-Chair of ICLEI Europe's Regional Executive Committee, as well as political representatives from Bologna (Italy), Burgas (Bulgaria) and VATI (Hungarian National Agency for Regional Planning).

On 10 October another workshop will be held in the Belgian capital, titled “Community Action for Disaster Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation". The event will gather the United Nations, the European Commission and local level representatives to discuss challenges and the potential arising from involving local communities in developing and implementing local disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation measures. Both workshops occur in the context of the 10th European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels.

For more information and to register, click here.

6. Positive Green Job analysis can help decision makers at the local level

Green jobs are increasingly on the agenda of meetings and conferences. Employment, fittingly, is the most quoted co-benefit of the renewable energy expansion, with both gross and net job effects in most studies shown to be positive - currently and projected for the future. These results, however, are seldom reported on the regional level. The findings of a recent German study paint an interesting picture of renewable energy job creation and are relevant to regional energy policies internationally.

The increasing share of renewable energy in Germany has led to employment of roughly 370,000 people in related industries. But how is employment distributed spatially within Germany? What components contribute to growth impacts on a regional level? How can regional and local decision-makers shape future development? To answer these questions Philip Ulrich, Martin Distelkamp and Ulrike Lehr, from GWS - Institute of Economic Structures Research, Osnabrück (Germany) explored new methods of regionalisation for the specific example “wind energy onshore” in Germany’s federal states.

The analytical results related to onshore wind energy show that direct employment is particularly high in the northwestern regions of Germany. However, the indirect effects are spread out over the whole country. Regions in the south not only profit from the delivery of specific components, but also from other industry and service inputs. These results can help decision makers design measures, and can influence them to keep or expand demand for green jobs in their regions. In June 2012 figures for all technologies were published, showing the importance of the whole renewable energy expansion process for regional labor markets.

For more information and updates from sustainability Open Access Journals, click here.

7. EcoProcura conference demonstrates power of public procurement to shape the market

The EcoProcura conference in Malmö (Sweden) demonstrated the growing consensus that public authorities have both the power and responsibility to create a market for sustainable products and services. Spending €2 trillion (or 19 percent of GDP) each year on goods and services, the public sector is the biggest single buyer on the European market, representing tremendous potential to push environmental, social and innovative solutions.

Speaking at the conference, Antonio Tajani, Vice President of the European Commission responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship said: “Public procurement of sustainable and innovative goods and services is one of the essential tools for stimulating new technological or service solutions while helping to create jobs and boosting the competitiveness of the European industry and SMEs. It also encourages more efficient public services“. The Commission announced further funding for networks of public authorities to buy innovative solutions. This will complement existing initiatives such as the SCI-Network on sustainable construction and innovation.

The outcomes of the conference will be uploaded onto the Procurement Forum, which can be joined at This online forum provides a platform to discuss, post questions, solutions and examples of how Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) and Public Procurement of Innovation (PPI) can effectively be achieved. The conference outcomes will also inform policy processes through the Procura+ Campaign, a movement of public authorities at the forefront of sustainable procurement in Europe.

For more information, click here.

8. Learn how to inspire and support community initiatives at InContext workshops

All those involved in supporting sustainable development, nurturing social innovation and mobilising citizens at the local level are invited to join one of the InContext workshops, taking place in Milan (Italy) from 6 - 7 November 2012 and Krakow (Poland) from 3 - 4 December.

The workshops, titled “From public participation to co-creation: the role of local governments in supporting bottom-up sustainability initiatives”, will present an innovative, community-based methodology for accelerating local transitions towards sustainable lifestyles and a low-carbon society. Drawing on the experience of European cities already working with this approach, the participants will explore the role of local governments in inspiring and supporting local initiatives, as well as advancing social inclusion and community empowerment, the green economy and renewable energy, and sustainable rural and urban development.

Facilitated by experts from the Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT) and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the event will allow participants to share their experience with participants from all over Europe, and bring home practical solutions to help better understand the needs of communities. If well used, creativity and knowledge found at the grassroots have the power to turn a city around. In the current climate of austerity European cities simply cannot afford to neglect these valuable resources. The workshops are free of charge and limited funds for travel reimbursement are available.

For more information, click here, or contact

9. Book of the month

Gender and Climate Change: An Introduction

Climate change affects everybody, but some are affected more than others. The authors show how climate change magnifies existing inequalities, focusing in particular on disparities between men and women. However, the book goes beyond the usual narrative of women as victims of climate change, highlighting also the role of women in building resilience and implementing adaptation strategies. Arguing the case for climate and gender justice, Dankelman quotes Bella Abzug, former US congresswoman and founder of the Women’s Environment and Development Organization, who – commenting on gender mainstreaming in environmental policy – once said:  “Women do not want to be mainstreamed into a polluted stream: they want the stream to be clear and healthy”.

Starting with a recapitulation of various approaches to gender and sustainable development, the book proposes a new theoretical framework for analysing the relationship between climate change, human security and gender issues. Illustrated with numerous case studies, as well as personal stories of many women of different backgrounds, the volume analyses existing policies and formulates recommendations for further action. Even though most examples come from developing countries, it is a valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding the link between gender and sustainable development, both in theory and in practice.

ADankelman, I. (ed.), “Gender and Climate Change: An Introduction”,
Earthscan 2010

8. Events news

Shape the future of EU drinking water policy at the ADWICE conference

The ADWICE Stakeholder Exchange Conference 2012, taking place in ICLEI Member Brussels (Belgium) on 2 October, is almost here. The one-day conference is an excellent opportunity to help shape the future of drinking water policy in Europe, as well as network with scientific researchers, local and national policy-makers and representatives of European institutions.

Confirmed speakers include representatives of the European Commission, UNESCO, the Province of Barcelona (Spain), Greater London Authority (United Kingdom) and many other key actors. Interactive sessions will be used to explore all aspects of the drinking water challenges. Understanding impacts, vulnerability assessments, scarcity, droughts and floods will all be looked at. Adaptation and mitigation measures implemented in different geographical zones will also be analysed in-depth.

The conference is organised within the framework of the Adapting Drinking Water resources to the Impacts of Climate change in Europe (ADWICE) project funded by the European Commission (DG ENV) in order to present and discuss the preliminary outcomes of the review compiled in the background paper. All stakeholders are invited to give their feedback and contribute to the study with concrete illustrations and best practices. Registration is available online.

For more information, click here.

9. Event calendar

ADWICE Stakeholder Exchange Conference
2 October 2012, Brussels (Belgium)

International Workshop for Covenant of Mayors Coordinators and Supporters
3 - 4 October 2012, Krakow (Poland)

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

7th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns
17 – 19 April 2013, Geneva (Switzerland)

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:

The ICLEI in Europe newsletter is produced by the European Secretariat of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability. Copies are available on request. Editor: Sean Carroll, Ciara Leonard (responsible).

Comments and questions are welcome - please write to Sean Carroll 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 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:

Copyright 2012 ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH, Freiburg, Germany. All rights reserved.