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ICLEI in Europe News
December 2015

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

Don't hesitate to send your news and information to

  1. ICLEI invites members to sign the Paris Pledge for Action
  2. ICLEI Member News
  3. Historic partnership announced at Climate Summit for Local leaders
  4. Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement Summit held at COP21
  5. 10YFP on SPP session looks at reducing emissions through public procurement
  6. Germany aims to become a lead market for electric mobility
  7. SPP Regions website launch
  8. Events news
  9. Events calendar

            1. ICLEI invites members to sign the Paris Pledge for Action

            On 12 December 2015, nations at the United Nations Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) adopted a landmark “Paris Agreement” that strives to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, with the intent to pursue a 1.5-degree target. Through the agreement, local and subnational governments are recognised as essential actors in fast tracking transformative action in the urban world.

            The Paris Agreement fulfills the majority of expectations contained in the ICLEI Declaration to Ministers at COP21, adopted unanimously at the joint meeting of ICLEI Council and Global Executive Committee at Paris City Hall on 6 December 2015. Following the adoption, ICLEI received an invitation on behalf of the UNFCCC Secretariat and the COP21 Presidency to join a global awareness and publicity campaign that announces support for the Paris Agreement, titled the Paris Pledge for Action.

            ICLEI endorses the Paris Pledge for Action and is encouraging its members around the globe to sign the Pledge. “ICLEI welcomes the Paris Agreement as it opens the door for all Non-Party stakeholders through the engagement of all levels of governments and non-state actors, provides a basis for transformation and paves the way for greater ambitions. This is why ICLEI also endorses the Paris Pledge for Action. The success of this regime relies heavily on the rapid mobilisation of each and every individual and organisation for ambitious climate action,” said Gino Van Begin, ICLEI Secretary General.

            For more information, visit

            Image copyright: ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability

            2. ICLEI Member News

            Cities and Regions Pavilion at COP21 sees European cities present local action

            European cities showcased the sustainable projects that are transforming their societies at the ICLEI organised Cities and Regions Pavilion, held as part of COP21 in Paris. Current European Green Capital Bristol (UK) hosted several sessions, looking at topics such as creating smart and sustainable cities through innovative Public-Private partnerships, and increasing resilience to the effects of climate change. On 1 December the city took part in a debate with other winners of the European Green Capital award, including Copenhagen (Denmark), Essen (Germany), Hamburg (Germany), Nantes (France), Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Stockholm (Sweden), while on 2 December Bristol held a workshop on how local leaders can build effective partnerships that will help to make cities more sustainable.

            Bristol’s final session took place on Friday 11 December, outlining the council’s plans for the future of the city. French region Nord-Pas de Calais also held a series of talks, including a session on the "Third Industrial Revolution", which put the spotlight on the region’s plan for a large-scale refurbishment that would see 100,000 houses made more energy efficient.

            Scandinavian cities gave TAP Pavilion attendees the benefit of their considerable sustainability knowledge on Thursday 3 December, with the City of Oslo (Norway) looking at transformative change in transport systems and Stockholm (Sweden) discussing its ambitious plans to be fossil fuel free by 2040. Financing the green transformation was picked up by Gothenburg (Sweden), who looked at green bonds and sustainable urban development. On Saturday 5 December, the City of Copenhagen (Denmark) held a session on its plan to be carbon neutral by 2025. The Basque Country, host of the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns, also presented at the Cities and Regions Pavilion, outlining its Climate Change strategy KLIMA 2050.

            For more information, visit the Cities & Regions Pavilion website.

            Image copyright: ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability

            Warsaw joins ICLEI to enhance sustainable development

            The Polish capital of Warsaw has become an official member of ICLEI, signalling its ongoing commitment to developing a more sustainable future. As host of the 2013 Convention of the Parties (COP), Warsaw is highly attuned to the importance of climate change mitigation and aware of the important role that international processes such as COP play in this transition. Prior to COP21, the city organised the conference "From Warsaw to Paris via Lima", which examined climate challenges in the context of the climate negotiations, gathering input from the local level, civil society, and the business sector.

            The city is widely renowned in the field of sustainable energy, partly thanks to its extensive district energy system, which heats 70 percent of its 1.7 million inhabitants. The city has also developed a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) for the period 2011 – 2020. Warsaw’s energy mix has grown from being coal-based to incorporating a diverse mix of sustainable sources; since 2008, street lights in the city have been powered by energy generated from treated sewage sludge. To further aid the transition away from coal, a biomass energy plant was recently launched, estimated to save 227,000 tonnes of carbon annually.

            On 10 December 2015, Warsaw City Council accepted the "Low-carbon Economy Action Plan for Warsaw”, a policy which aims to improve air quality by reducing CO2 emissions, increasing the share of renewable energy, and improving energy efficiency in the city. As part of the drive to develop a more energy-efficient building stock, Warsaw is investing in thermal retrofit schemes and is rolling out smart grids and metering. Last year the city produced a sustainability report, providing objective data on sustainable development and quality of life in the city, enabling decision-makers to take stock and better plan for the future.

            For more information, visit Urban-LEDS.

            Image copyright: Warsaw (photo on Flickr) by "Kamil Porembiński", licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

            Bristol Summits bring together business and civic leaders

            At the culmination of its year as European Green Capital, ICLEI member Bristol (UK) gathered a pioneering group of businesses at the Business Summit and innovative civic leaders at the City Leadership Summit to explore how creative civic governance and forward-thinking businesses can build healthy and happy communities.

            The two summits showcased how cities and regions are at the forefront of sustainable development, and how they must play a leadership role in reducing dependence on fossil fuels and driving forward the low-carbon economy. Throughout the sessions, local authorities demonstrated that they are ideally positioned to facilitate the roll-out of policies and actions while fostering community participation and inclusiveness.

            Within the Transformative Actions Program (TAP) session, co-organised by ICLEI, city leaders explained their ambitious, cross-cutting and inclusive actions, focusing on mitigation and adaptation to climate change. George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, presented Bristol’s TAP proposal to retrofit around 50,000 homes to make them more energy efficient. The potential of innovation to bring social and economic change was also emphasised. A series of interviews capture the outlook of local authorities participating at the Bristol Summits.

            For more information, visit the Summits website.

            Image copyright: Paul Box

            3. Historic partnership announced at Climate Summit for Local leaders

            Michael R. Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City (USA) and UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, together with European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici, announced that the Compact of Mayors and the Covenant of Mayors will formally partner to promote and support voluntary city action to combat climate change. The partnership between the Compact of Mayors, a global coalition of nearly 400 mayors committed to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, enhance resilience to climate change and track their progress transparently, and the Covenant of Mayors, the European Union’s initiative of several thousand local governments assuming the responsibility of tackling climate change in their territories, will open a new chapter to demonstrate the global impact of local city action.

            The announcement took place at the Climate Summit for Local Leaders in Paris's City Hall, the largest global convening of mayors, governors and local leaders focused on climate change. Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo encouraged the leaders present to share ideas and practices to ensure that cities create better environments for their citizens. Park Won-soon, Mayor of Seoul (South Korea) and President of ICLEI, drew attention to the role of local and regional government networks in advancing sustainability goals, noting that more than 1,000 ICLEI members agreed to implement the Seoul Action Plan, which includes specific measures for sustainable growth. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio also spoke at the event, emphasising the role of knowledge, exchange and collaboration. At the end of the Summit, the Paris City Hall Declaration was adopted.

            For more information on the partnership between the Compact of Mayors and the Covenant of Mayors, visit

            For more information on the Climate Summit for Local Leaders, visit ICLEI’s Talk of the Cities blog.

            Image copyright: IISD/ENB

            4. Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement Summit held at COP21

            Participants in the Global Lead City Network on Sustainable Procurement (GLCN on SP) joined together on Saturday 5 December in the Cities & Regions Pavilion at COP21 to celebrate their first annual Summit. Auckland (New Zealand), Cape Town (South Africa), Denver (USA), Ghent (Belgium), Helsinki (Finland), Oslo (Norway), Quezon City (Philippines), Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Seoul (South Korea) and Warsaw (Poland) are participants in the network, which is a joint initiative of the Seoul Metropolitan Government and ICLEI.

            Park Won-soon, Mayor of Seoul Metropolitan Government, was elected chair of the GLCN on SP during the session. “Today is the starting point for more cities to make similar pledges. Let us strive to establish and spread green consumption and production systems around the world,” Mayor Park said. The 10 participating cities presented their sustainable procurement activities and achievements, and shared their knowledge and experience. Through leading by example, participants of the network aim to accelerate the implementation of sustainable purchasing worldwide.

            “UNEP is delighted to have the GLCN on SP working on sustainable procurement. We are excited to see the lead action we are all looking for,” said Ligia Noronha, Director of the Division of Technology Industry and Economics, UNEP.

            For more information, visit the GLCN on SP website.

            Image copyright: ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability

            5. 10YFP on SPP session looks at reducing emissions through public procurement

            UNEP, ICLEI, and the Korean Environmental Institute for Technology and Innovation (KEITI) hosted a session on Saturday 5 December at the Cities and Regions Pavilion to raise awareness about the potential of sustainable public procurement (SPP) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The discussion focused on how to measure the GHG emissions stemming from public procurement. Three members of the 10 Year Framework Programme on Sustainable Public Procurement (10YFP on SPP) presented case studies from Europe, Asia and North America that illustrate the role SPP can play in reducing emissions.

            The goal of the 10 YFP on SPP is to build the case for SPP on a global scale and support the implementation of SPP on the ground. The session saw UNEP, ICLEI, KEITI, and the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) showcase practical ways to reduce GHG emissions through SPP, as well as outline methods to effectively monitor impacts. Mark Hidson, Global Director of ICLEI’s Sustainable Procurement Centre, emphasised the importance of monitoring as a powerful communication tool for encouraging sustainable procurement. ICLEI’s Simon Clement pointed to the GPP 2020 project as an example of what can be achieved through low-carbon procurement. To date, the project has saved over 250,000 tCO2e to date.

            For more information, visit the 10YFP programme website.

            Image copyright: ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability

            6. Germany aims to become a lead market for electric mobility

            As outlined in the National Development Plan for Electric Mobility, the German government has devised ambitious plans for alternative transport in the country, setting the goal of becoming a lead market for electric mobility. The plan states that by 2020 at least 1 million electric cars should be on the roads, serviced by a robust network of electric charging units. To stimulate the electric vehicle market, the German government has provided around €500 million in funding for research and development activities. As well as economic concerns, Germany’s e-mobility strategy feeds into its energy and climate policies, providing a means to reduce harmful emissions.

            To build on the country’s progress, three German cities - Eberswalde, Hohen Neuendorf, and Iserlohn, with the support of B.&S.U Beratungs- und Service-Gesellschaft Umwelt and the Berlin Agency for Electromobility - are taking part in the E-Mobility Works project. The EU-funded project brings together municipalities and the private sector to plot a path towards better electric mobility. The German cities have created local Action Plans that take into account the infrastructure necessary for e-mobility and ways in which renewable energy can be better used in the transport system. The plans also cover investment in new electric vehicles, campaigns that inform the public, and the legal framework surrounding electric mobility.

            For more information, visit the E-Mobility Works website [in German].

            Image copyright: photo on Flickr by "Washington State House Republicans", licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

            7. SPP Regions website launch

            The newly launched SPP Regions website showcases the creation and strengthening of networks of public authorities focused on sustainable public procurement (SPP) and public procurement of innovation (PPI) in seven European regions.

            The networks in Barcelona (Xarxa de Ciutats i Pobles cap a la Sostenibilitat), South West England (PIPEN), Bulgaria (Bulgarian SPPI Network), Copenhagen, Torino (APE), Metropolitan Region Rotterdam – The Hague, and West France (RGO) are co-operating on tendering for eco-innovative solutions and building capacity to implement sustainable and innovative purchasing practices.

            The seven regional SPP networks will publish a total of 42 eco-innovative tenders focused on energy use in public buildings, vehicles and transport, and food and catering services. The goal is to achieve 54.3 GWh/year of primary energy savings and trigger 45 GWh/year of renewable energy. The SPP Regions website provides updated information about the different networks, as well as access to all the tools developed within the project. SPP Regions is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

            For more information, visit the SPP Regions website.

            Image copyright: Fotolia

            8. Event News

            Registration opens for 2016 edition of Informed Cities Forum

            Registration is now open for the 5th Informed Cities Forum, taking place from 16 – 17 June 2016 in Dresden (Germany) under the heading “PEOPLE, PARTNERSHIPS and POWER - Building alliances for urban sustainability transitions”. The forum will see attendance by an exciting mix of local government representatives, researchers, local activists and artists, educators and entrepreneurs, experts and policy specialists, all dedicated to changing the future of their city. Registration can be completed online.

            Building on the discussions held this year in Rotterdam (The Netherlands), the 2016 edition will address some of the most pressing questions when it comes to urban sustainability transitions: How to increase the pace of change and yet leave no one behind? How to find (and keep) allies and where to look for them? How to bridge different worldviews and deal with conflicts? Participants will have an opportunity to interact with representatives from local transition initiatives that have helped to shape Dresden’s socio-ecological transformation by taking part in one of six field workshops.

            The 5th Informed Cities Forum is organised by ICLEI, together with the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development, and DRIFT, on behalf of all partners of the ARTS project consortium. Those interested in showcasing their work through a poster or in another format should contact Updates are available by following @ARTS_EU + #infcities on Twitter.

            For more information, contact or visit the Informed Cities website.

            9. Event Calendar

            8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns
            27 – 29 April 2016 – Bilbao, Basque Country

            Informed Cities Forum
            16 – 17 June 2016 – Dresden (Germany)

            Local Renewables 2016: Energising the smart city and region
            26 – 28 October 2016 - Freiburg (Germany) & Basel (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.

            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 2015 ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH, Freiburg, Germany. All rights reserved.