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ICLEI in Europe News
January 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

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    1. ICLEI Regional Director Wolfgang Teubner looks forward into 2015
    2. ICLEI Member News
    3. Climate change recognised as global human rights issue
    4. 2014 revealed to be an outstanding year for wind power in Denmark
    5. Procurement platform helps reduce CO2 by 65,000 tonnes
    6. Clean Fleets project launches new resources for public procurers
    7. OEDC report shows economic growth not hampered by green policies
    8. Event News
    9. Event Calendarmso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";

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      1. ICLEI Regional Director Wolfgang Teubner looks forward into 2015

      Please note, below are the key messages from the Regional Director's 2015 letter.
      To read the full version, click here.

      Dear members, colleagues and friends,

      I trust you all had a great start to the New Year and I wish you good health, happiness and success.

      We do not yet know what 2015 will bring but it has the potential to become a decisive year for shaping the global framework for sustainable development at the local and regional level. In September, the final Sustainable development goals will be agreed by the UN General Assembly and later in the year we hope to see an agreement on the post-Kyoto global climate regime at COP21 in Paris. Together with other partners, ICLEI is working hard to push for ambitious climate goals, a full recognition of the important role of local and regional governments, and most importantly, favourable framework conditions for local implementation.

      The ICLEI World Congress in Seoul from 8 – 12 April 2015 will also be a highlight in 2015. Along with the establishment of our new Global Executive Committee and election of the new ICLEI President, it will provide a forum to discuss the future of urban sustainability with a specific focus on the Asian models and experiences.

      In Europe, we are still confronted with steep challenges, with the newly elected European Parliament and the new European Commission setting jobs and growth as a main priority. It is important, however, that any investments aimed at growth adhere to sustainability criteria to achieve a low-carbon society and sustainable infrastructure development, particularly to avoid locking Europe into unsustainable solutions for years to come.

      Another challenge is exhibited in the low turnout in European elections and high number of votes going to anti-European parties.  The shocking assaults in Paris recently have highlighted the danger that occurs as a result of societal disintegration and segregation, and demonstrated that we need to address and manage the underlying social problems and tensions to maintain a democracy based on tolerance and trust.

      Our European Membership Convention in Brussels in October 2014 noted that macro-level policies that are driven by global competition and the global financial markets are not yet addressing the societal challenges we face. Additionally, while there is no doubt that to achieve sustainable development we need innovative technologies and a move towards integrated sustainable urban infrastructure (a topic which the ICLEI European Secretariat is deeply engaged in), we must ensure that the guiding principal of this change is positive societal development.

      Let’s join forces in 2015 to create sustainable cities and integrated urban societies, and thereby a stronger, more sustainable and integrated Europe. I hope to meet you all at our World Congress, our European Members’ Assembly or at one of the important events around COP21.

      Thank you all for your collaboration and support!

      Wolfgang Teubner

      Regional Director

      2. ICLEI Member News

      Yerevan Municipality to run environmental education classes

      The Natural Environment and Me is a new extracurricular environmental education course that will soon be run by ICLEI member Yerevan Municipality (Armenia) in collaboration with the American University of Armenia (AUA) for middle and high school students. The new programme encourages students to develop a broad understanding and appreciation of local, regional, and global environmental issues.

      The initiative will engage students in structured discussion on recycling, waste management, energy, cities, agriculture, natural resources, and biodiversity. The adaptable format of The Natural Environment and Me allows schools to develop the programme to suit the needs of their students and can include field trips, hands-on community activities and the formation of eco-clubs with ongoing activities. Initially six schools in Yerevan Municipality will be participating in the programme, with 15 – 20 students from each invited to join the voluntary after-school programme.

      For more information, visit the Yerevan Municipality website.

      Ludwigsburg wins German Sustainability Award

      ICLEI member Ludwigsburg (Germany) has taken first place in the medium-sized cities category of the German Sustainability Awards. The awards, endorsed by the German Federal Government, business associations, UNESCO and UNICEF, recognise outstanding commitments to sustainability.

      Through the award, cities and towns, companies, buildings and construction projects, and research projects are acknowledged, while achievements in ecological, social and humanitarian, and economic dimensions are affirmed. The award, presented for the seventh time this year, has become the national award for sustainability excellence in Germany, and one of the most prestigious sustainability awards in Europe.

      For more information, visit the German Sustainability Awards website.

      Bristol becomes 500th reporting city of carbonn Climate Registry

      Announced at the Lima Dialogues, a side event of the 20th session of the annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conferences (UNFCCC COP20/CMP10), the City of Bristol (United Kingdom) has become the 500th reporting city of the carbonn Climate Registry (cCR) – the world’s leading reporting platform for local and subnational climate action. Bristol, the European Green Capital 2015, and the first UK city to report into cCR, joins the growing list of pioneering cities and numerous ICLEI members that have embraced leadership and responsibility in addressing climate change.
      “Bristol aims to cut emissions by 40 percent by 2020. We’ve already cut emissions by 20 percent since the base date of 2005,” said George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol. “Over 50,000 Bristolians are already involved with green initiatives as we prepare for our year as Britain’s first European Green Capital in 2015. We are proud of our reputation as a national and international leader when it comes to sustainable actions and we hope to influence the wider international community to do much more.”

      Partnered by ICLEI, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), cCR is the world’s leading reporting platform to enhance transparency, credibility and accountability for local and subnational climate action. 

      For more information, visit the carbonn Climate Registry website.

      City of Freiburg to publish first sustainability report

      The City of Freiburg (Germany) will soon publish its first Sustainability Report, a 100-page document that determines which urban activities contribute to sustainability goals, how financial resources are used, and what actions are available to further drive sustainable urban development. The ICLEI member has developed structures and instruments for sustainability monitoring to focus urban actions towards sustainability principles. The document will be released in conjunction with the 2015 – 2016 double budget.

      Dieter Salomon, the Mayor of Freiburg, has stated that combining finance and sustainability reporting has the capacity for more comprehensive municipal actions, and is unique nationwide. He also defined sustainability in the context of Freiburg and other small cities and towns as a combination of ecological responsibility, economic growth and life quality. In order to connect sustainability goals with the new municipal budget, Freiburg’s Regional Council has selected five focal sectors and named six associated departments: children/youth & family; property and housing; social affairs and senior citizens; forestry and parks; civil engineering; and personnel.

      For more information, visit the City of Freiburg website [in German].

      3. Climate change recognised as global human rights issue

      Copyright: garryknight/Foter/CC BYWith the devastating effects of climate change apparent globally, mitigating the destructive phenomenon is increasingly being viewed as a global human rights issue. The overwhelming proportion of negative fallout from changing weather patterns will adversely affecting the world’s less industrialised nations, leading many human rights advocates, including Oxfam, to argue that countries with the capacity to tackle climate change have the responsibility to do so.

      Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson has strongly argued that climate change is a human rights and development issue, asserting that the nations most responsible must initiate progressive change in their domestic climate actions and show support for vulnerable countries. Ms. Robinson wrote: “The human cost of global warming has a name: climate injustice. The remedy, then, is climate justice. Climate justice is not just the recognition that climate change is a matter of human rights and development; it also involves recognising that the victims of global warming are not responsible for it, nor can their actions alone halt it.”

      Data obtained from the Germanwatch Global Climate Risk Index supports Robinson’s rationale by indicating that eight of the 10 most affected countries in the period 1993 – 2012 were developing nations in the low-income or lower-middle income country group.

      For more information, read the full Mary Robinson blog post on The Guardian website.

      4. 2014 revealed to be an outstanding year for wind power in Denmark

      A staggering 39.1 percent of Denmark’s 2014 energy consumption was wind-generated, according to the Danish Climate and Energy Ministry. In January 2014, 61.4 percent of Danish electricity consumption was sourced from wind. “These are incredible figures,” said Climate and Energy Minister Rasmus Helveg Petersen. “We still plan to put up more wind turbines. We are moving forward and we have more targets”.

      Having doubled its wind power generation in the last decade, Denmark is now considered the world leader in wind-based power usage. The country affirms to be home to 90 percent of the world’s offshore wind turbines and sees itself as having “found the key to stop global warming” according to Petersen. 

      For more information, visit the official website of Denmark.

      5. Procurement platform helps reduce CO2 by 65,000 tonnes

      Public tenders published through the GPP 2020 project have prevented over 65,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere since the project began, more than the CO2 produced by 11,000 average European households each year. The project, co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe programme of the European Commission, is an online resource where low-carbon tenders are accessible to procurers and public authorities across a wide variety of topics, from the purchase of white goods to the leasing of green vehicles. The available tenders have also saved an impressive 15,000 tonnes of oil equivalent.

      The savings are based on a comparison between emissions of previous, or standard, tenders and those of the new tenders that have been implemented by the purchasing partners of GPP 2020. To date, 15 tender models have been uploaded to the GPP 2020 website, outlining exactly how different councils across Europe have implemented low-carbon tenders. These models include procurement approaches and award criteria that can be implemented by other public authorities.

      For more information, visit the GPP 2020 website.

      6. Clean Fleets project launches new resources for public procurers

      A series of resources aimed at helping public procurers to comply with the EU’s Clean Vehicles Directive have been released by the Clean Fleets project. The free publications, which include a guide, a life-cycle costing tool, and factsheets, provide up-to-date information and advice from experts and practitioners.

      Titled “Procuring clean and efficient road vehicles”, the Clean Fleets guide presents in-depth information for public authorities and public transport operators tasked with purchasing vehicle fleets in accordance with EU legislation. Backed-up by real life examples from European public authorities, the guide shows how environmental criteria can be introduced at various stages of the procurement process. The life-cycle costing tool empowers procurers to measure the cost of their fleet over its full life span, granting an insight into environmental impacts in addition to financial costs.

      For more information, visit the Clean Fleets publications page.

      7. OECD report shows economic growth not hampered by green policies

      The drive towards more sustainable, less-polluting economies does not result in lower productivity or reduced economic activity, a new study by the OECD has revealed. The report shows that while countries may initially experience a fall in economic growth as companies adapt to green regulations, what follows is generally a rebound period, with companies increasing productivity through enhancing innovation and taking advantage of new opportunities opened by the regulations.

      Although more polluting companies have generally seen a downturn as a result of national efforts to combat climate change, the shortfall in production from these businesses has been picked up by companies with cleaner-business models, meaning the net effect has been minimal.

      The OECD recommends that green policies be target concerned without being overly prescriptive, allowing firms to find the best ways to embrace sustainability. "The policy message is clear: more stringent environmental policies, when properly designed, can be introduced to benefit the environment without any loss in productivity," the report states.

      For more information, view the December OECD Policy Brief.

      8. Event News

      Transport sharing success to be discussed at Breakfast at Sustainability’s meeting

      ICLEI and the Liaison agency Flanders-Europe are inviting participants to take part in the 17th “Breakfast at Sustainability’s” on 4 February 2015 in Brussels (Belgium) to discuss urban transport under the heading Sharing – the new concept for sustainable mobility.

      The two topics up for discussion are What does sharing mean in a mobility network? hosted by Ingrid Briesner from the European Platform on Mobility Management (EPOMM), and Car sharing in Bremen, a real success story? hosted by Michael Glotz-Richter from the City of Bremen (Germany).

      Registration closes on 30 January 2015.

      To register, contact For more information, download the programme.

      ICLEI World Congress 2015 invitations open

      ICLEI extends an invitation to members and partners to gather at the ICLEI World Congress 2015 to showcase their actions over the period and discuss strategies for the following years.

      Global leaders on urban sustainability will convene in Seoul (Republic of Korea), a world-class sustainable megacity, for ICLEI’s largest demonstration of groundbreaking work towards a viable urban future. Local governments will share their best practices and lessons learned from on the ground local action, while keynote speakers will inspire and motivate with their vision for sustainable urban areas.

      Some 1,500 expected participants will experience a diverse programme of high-level plenaries, sub-plenaries, parallel sessions, mobile workshops, and trainings. The five-day programme will focus on delivering tangible city solutions across areas including low-carbon development; resilience and adaptation; biodiversity; water; EcoMobility; green urban economy; smart urban infrastructure, and more.

      For more information, visit the ICLEI World Congress website

       European Climate Change Adaptation conference calls for presentations

      The European Climate Change Adaptation conference (ECCA) in Copenhagen (Denmark) aims to facilitate interactions between researchers, policymakers, practitioners (including cities) and business. It is an initiative of a number of major European research projects, including RAMSES, Base and ToPDad.

      ECCA has opened a call for presentations for three conference areas: science sessions,  presenting and discussing the latest results from research; science-policy-practitioner interface sessions, in which scientists, practitioners (including cities and private actors) and policy makers present and discuss common issues related to costs and benefits, strategies, governance, tools and implementation, and so on; and science-policy-business sessions, focused on the facilitation of public-private-partnerships, and investigation of business opportunities and solutions.

      Experts who wish to contribute with a presentation are welcome to submit abstracts by 1 February 2015. Abstracts should include the title, name and contact data of authors, and a short description of the presentation (limited to 400 words).

      For more information and to submit an abstract, visit the ECCA website.

      9. Event Calendar

      Breakfast at Sustainability’s
      4 February 2015 – Brussels (Belgium)

      Community Energy
      5 February 2015 – Madrid (Spain)

      4th Informed Cities Forum
      26-27 March 2015 – Rotterdam (The Netherlands)

      ICLEI World Congress 2015
      8 – 12 April 2015 – Seoul (Republic of Korea)

      CARE-North plus conference
      15 – 16 April 2015 – Bremen (Germany)

      European Climate Change Adaptation Conference 2015
      12 - 14 May 2015 – Copenhagen (Denmark)

      European Sustainable Development Week
      30 May – 5 June – Europe

      Resilient Cities 2015
      8 – 10 June 2015 – Bonn (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:

      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 2014 ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH, Freiburg, Germany. All rights reserved.