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ICLEI in Europe News
May 2013 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. Open letter in response to EP's decision against backloading the European Emission Trading System
  2. ICLEI Member News
  3. Sustainable local production key to solving economic crisis
  4. Local Renewables 2013 focuses on building low-carbon cities and regions
  5. Cities encouraged to take part in Earth Hour City Challenge 2014
  6. Registration for European Mobility Week 2013 now open
  7. Open European Day to present approaches to climate adaptation
  8. EE-Regionen looks at the social and ecological aspect of the German transition to renewable energy
  9. Events news
  10. Events calendar

1. Open letter in response to EP's decision against backloading the European Emission Trading System

The European Parliament has decided against the reform of the European Emission Trading System (ETS). This decision is a serious blow to the many local efforts to reduce carbon footprints, and may have a detrimental effect on the European Union’s ability to reach its goals. It will also weaken the EU’s role during the crucial period of the global climate negotiations between COP 19 in Warsaw and COP 21 in Paris, when the leadership of the European Union is greatly needed. ICLEI Europe has written an open letter to raise its concerns regarding the negative effects this will have for local governments.

The decision of the European Parliament affects local and regional governments in two ways. The income from the sale of emission certificates has been partly used to support considerable local and regional investments, especially in the field of energy efficiency and energetic renovation of buildings. The current decision drastically reduces funds, which will slow down the implementation of these local actions and negatively affect local economies.

Also, the current situation in the ETS leads to an unbalanced sharing of burden. While local governments invest and take on responsibility, large parts of industry continue to emit and pollute. While local governments need a strong framework to encourage private industry to take action and to develop strong cooperation between the sectors, the current situation leads to the contrary based on the argument that higher prices would aggravate the economic crisis. However, ICLEI strongly believes that the suggested reform and backloading of the ETS would lead to greater investment into state of the art technology for energy efficiency and renewable energy, thereby supporting the forward leading industries and markets in Europe.

To view the full text of the open letter, click here.

2. ICLEI Member News

Barcelona works with citizens to redefine and commit to sustainability

In 1995 Barcelona City Council (Spain) signed the Aalborg Charter, committing it to working in accordance with sustainable development principles. Following an extensive consultation process, Barcelona defined its own Agenda 21 in Citizen Commitment to Sustainability 2002-2012, a broadly supported document which involved over 800 organisations - among them schools, associations, businesses, universities, trade unions etc - and defined principles, objectives and lines of action to move towards a better city. An updated version has been produced for the period 2012 – 2022, renewing citizen commitment for the coming decade.

Citizen Commitment to Sustainability 2012-2022 has been developed and jointly agreed on through many different contributions. All civic organisations have been invited to get involved and contribute. The document has been shaped by signatory conventions and associated participatory processes, working groups created specifically within the Municipal Council for Environment and Sustainability, international reference documents (particularly the strategies of ICLEI), the Rio+20 outcomes and more.

The development of the new document was also informed by the progress made in the city over the last ten years. During this time, Barcelona fine-tuned ideas about what is good for the city and how to achieve it, initiated collaborative projects, and had its work recognised internationally by UN-HABITAT and other institutions.

For more information, click here.

Association of Croatian cities awards Koprivnica for best practices

The City of Koprivnica (Croatia) has received two INpul (Innovation and best practice in local governments) awards. Presented by the Croatian Association of Cities in Zagreb on 9 April 2013, Koprivnica received the honours in the categories of energy efficiency, for the programme “Bold New Face of Koprivnica”, and preschool education, for the project “Save, Help and Rescue the Earth” enacted by the Municipal kindergarten of Tratincica.

The INpul awards aim to collect, publish, assess, disseminate and reward best practice in local governments. The programme “Bold New Face of Koprivnica” is part of the Sustainable Energy Action Plan for the city. The most prominent activities of the programme are the development of energy efficient residential areas and a zero emission university campus, in which a number of passive houses and blocks of flats have already been constructed.

For more information, click here.

3. Sustainable local production key to solving economic crisis

At the biggest conference on sustainable development in Europe, the 7th European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns, which took place from 17 – 19 April 2013, delegates discussed how cities can drive a transition towards sustainability in the face of the current economic, environmental and social crises. As global policy processes have failed to put the world on the track to sustainability, hopes are increasingly placed on local and regional actors. However, as cities across Europe are struggling with austerity measures, can they meet the challenge to drive this transition?

Wolfgang Teubner, Regional Director of ICLEI Europe says, “The notion that social and environmental concerns need to be put on hold until the economic crisis has been solved fails to recognise the linkages between these. There are huge opportunities to strengthen the local economy through sustainable investments. There is enormous potential for economic benefits through smart spending, for example, on improving the energy performance of buildings, better water resource management and adapting cities to the impacts of climate change.” Yet, to drive a transition towards sustainability, cities need to start producing their supplies locally to a larger extent than today. Mr. Teubner explains, “Local production of renewable energy and food will not only reduce the ecological footprint but the value created will also benefit the local economy.”

Sandrine Salerno, Vice-Mayor of the City of Geneva, adds, “These local solutions can be implemented through public-private and public-public partnerships. We also need to strengthen the social economy and choose sustainable investment strategies."

For more information, click here.

4. Local Renewables 2013 focuses on building low-carbon cities and regions

Practical solutions, from planning to implementation, will be the focus of Local Renewables Freiburg 2013 - Shaping your Solar City and Region. This interactive conference will focus on what local governments and stakeholders can do today to achieve low-carbon economies.

The conference will provide guidance on optimising local renewable energy potentials, as well as access to examples, ideas and support for local governments aiming to develop solar cities and regions.

Local policy-makers, representatives of all levels of government, energy agencies, researchers and business representatives are invited to register for the conference and benefit from the early-bird fee. Participants will explore how municipalities and regions can embrace clean, sustainable energy solutions, and tackle financial, planning and regulatory challenges.

For more information, click here.

5. Cities encouraged to take part in Earth Hour City Challenge 2014

Following the convening of the UNFCCC working group tasked with establishing the scope, structure and design of the 2015 global climate agreement, ICLEI has continued to advocate that a greater focus be placed on the role cities are playing in creating a sustainable, low carbon future. To make exemplary local-level examples better known to the international community, both ICLEI and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are encouraging cities to take part in the Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC).

The EHCC, an initiative created by the WWF in 2012, highlights and rewards cities that make substantial long-term efforts to combat global warming. In 2013, 66 cities participated, with ICLEI member Vancouver (Canada) awarded the title of Global Earth Hour Capital 2013. The 2014 competition has been expanded, with cities across 15 countries invited to take part. Participants will be asked to register their data on the carbonn Cities Climate Registry (cCCR), an internationally recognised carbon reporting platform managed by ICLEI, which will be open for reporting from May – October 2013. Strategies will then be evaluated by an international jury.

Gino Van Begin, Secretary General of ICLEI, which is the focal point of local governments at the UNFCCC, said: “Earth Hour City Challenge has clearly demonstrated that the global level of ambition can be easily raised with ambitious local leaders and actions. Now it is the responsibility of national governments to tap this potential into the new global climate regime.”

For more information, click here.

6. Registration for European Mobility Week 2013 now open

All local authorities that represent a town or city are being invited to take part in European Mobility Week (EMW) 2013. The campaign promotes sustainable mobility to citizens, encourages local leaders to enact a new measure to improve public transport, and helps to create a more sustainable mobility culture. Registration can be completed online. Last year’s campaign saw a total of 2,158 cities from 39 countries sign up.

This year, the campaign will focus on cleaning the air through green mobility choices. Under the theme “Clean air – it’s your move!” the link between mobility and air quality will be explored, as well as the health and environmental benefits that come with lowering urban air pollution. More information on this year’s theme is outlined in the Thematic Guidelines 2013.

Cities taking part in EMW commit to three measures: to organise a week of activities around this year’s theme, to implement at least one new permanent measure which shifts private car use to an environmentally sound means of transport, and to set aside one or several areas solely for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport for an entire day.

For more information, click here.

7. Open European Day to present approaches to climate adaptation

Outcomes and knowledge from the EU Cities Adapt project will be presented on 3 June 2013 at the event “Cities learning from cities on urban adaptation - Open European Day”, held as part of Resilient Cities 2013. The project, carried out for DG Climate Action, aims to foster peer-to-peer exchange and build capacity for cities to develop adaptation strategies.

Cities are vulnerable to the rising impacts of climate change. How can politicians and practitioners adapt their city systems to extreme weather events, guarantee a high quality of life for their citizens and deal with uncertainties and risks? What is the “acceptable” level of risk and how is this definable? And how can adaptation to climate change be financed?

The 21 pioneer cities taking part in the EU Cities Adapt project, along with other adaptation champions, will share their experience and knowledge at the event. Participation is free of charge and registration is now open.

For more information, click here.

8. EE-Regionen looks at the social and ecological aspect of the German transition to renewable energy

From 2009 – 2013 the EE-Regionen (Renewable Energy Regions) project examined the transition to renewable energy (RE) in Germany, exploring it not only from a technical point of view, but also asking how it can be achieved in a manner that contributes to social justice and ecological compatibility in communities. In analysing how social-ecological RE self-sufficiency can become a reality, the project enumerated challenges and defined ways to overcome them. The project’s findings were presented at a conference held on 5 March 2013 in Berlin (Germany). Videos from the conference are available online. A guide has also been produced outlining the project outcomes.

“Social justice” not only relates to the importance of spreading the cost of the energy transformation fairly, and in distributing benefits such as increased employment, additional tax revenue, etc. across the locality, but also relates to issues such as protecting the Earth for future generations (inter-generational justice). From a technical stand point, the project focused on the creation of regional electricity and heat production from bio energy.

The broad acceptance of changes by all stakeholders, as well as the involvement of key actors with the knowledge, vision and skills to realise the energy transition, was found to be of crucial importance. Transparency on behalf of local governments, including regular communication with citizens, is also required. The ecological aspect of the energy transition can be enhanced through strategic land use, preventing over use of soil, and through the use of waste biomass and other residues whenever possible. Adapting the transmission and distribution grids  is a necessity.

For more information, click here.

9. Events news


Delivery and Servicing Plans presented at TRAILBLAZER Final Conference


Delegates from across Europe attended the TRAILBLAZER Final Conference, held in Prague (Czech Republic) on 25 April 2013, to learn how the successful implementation of Delivery and Servicing Plans can save municipalities and businesses energy in the last mile of their supply chains.

At the event, the results from four European municipalities that developed and implemented their own Delivery and Servicing Plans were announced. Presentations were made outlining the Delivery and Servicing Plan Toolkit, a comprehensive guide to developing such plans.

A previously conducted Transferability Analysis was also showcased, which looked into how a variety of delivery and servicing measures can be replicated in new locations.

For more information, click here.


Deadline extended for Global Green City Award application


TThe deadline for the prestigious Global Green City Award has been extended from 30 April 2013 to 15 May 2013. Aimed at cities that have supported sustainable settlements, awards will be presented in a wide range of categories related to this, including “green mobility”, “green technology” and “most impressive residential area”.

The ceremony will be held at the 2013 Global Forum on Human Settlements, which is taking place in ICLEI member Berlin (Germany) from 19 – 20 June 2013. The forum will discuss ways to effectively implement the decisions taken at Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

The main topics on the agenda will be sustainable city planning and design, renewable energy and smart grids, sustainable transport operation and management, and industry electric vehicles.

For more information, click here.


10. Events calendar


Resilient Cities 2013
31 May – 2 June 2013, Bonn (Germany)


Informed Cities Forum 2013 & InContext Final Conference
6 - 7 June 2013, Berlin (Germany)


Liechtenstein Congress 2013
6 – 7 June 2013, Vaduz (Liechtenstein)


EcoMobility Congress 2013
1 – 4 September 2013, Suwon (South Korea)


EcoCity World Summit
25 – 27 September 2013, Nantes (France)


Local Renewables Freiburg 2013 Conference
24 - 25 October 2013, Freiburg im Breisgau (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: Sean Carroll, Ciara Leonard (responsible).

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


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