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ICLEI in Europe News
March 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. Member news
  2. ICLEI World Congress to highlight the role of women leaders in sustainability
  3. “Create solutions that suit your city” say Chief Resilience Officers
  4. GrowSmarter project implements smart city solutions
  5. CO-POWER pushes for community energy to be enshrined in EU law
  6. Renewable energy makes significant contribution to emissions reduction
  7. EC Energy Union to regulate energy and transition to low-carbon EU
  8. Event news
  9. Events calendar

          1. ICLEI Member News

          ICLEI members finalists for SUMP Award

          The finalists for the 2014 Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) award are ICLEI members Bremen (Germany), Ghent (Belgium), and Dresden (Germany), while Murcia (Spain), Östersund (Sweden) and Vienna (Austria) have been announced as the finalists for the 2014 edition of the European Mobility Week (EMW) Award. The winning cities will be announced at a ceremony on 23 March 2015 in Brussels (Belgium).

          The winner of the SUMP award will take home €10,000. A more detailed description of each SUMP Award finalist can be found online. The three EMW award finalists were selected from a shortlist of 10 by a jury of independent transport experts for the creative and innovative methods they used to celebrate last year’s EMW theme of ‘Our streets, our choice’. More detailed information on the EMW activities in all of the shortlisted cities is available via the European Mobility Week website.

          For more information, visit the Do the Right Mix website.

          City of Helsinki reviews carbon footprint of catering services

          ICLEI member Helsinki (Finland) has committed itself to reducing CO2 emissions through changing its approach to purchasing food. Palmia catering services, a municipal enterprise owned by the city, provides catering services to the city’s schools, day-care centres, hospitals and other public services, producing around 22 million meals per year. Realising that the way food is produced impacts emission rates more than its transport, Palmia is undertaking the “Responsible Meal 2012 – 15” project to measure CO2 emissions.

          Data on the climate impact of Helsinki’s food services has come from three key areas: food procurement; direct energy consumption of food production; and internal logistics of the catering service. Results indicate that through the ingredients chosen, food purchasing is responsible for 58 percent (the largest proportion) of the total carbon footprint.

          The City of Helsinki has also committed to the socially-responsible acquisition of food and received a Fair Trade City designation in 2013 for its pledge to procure fair trade products. Palmia shifted to exclusive use of organic Fair Trade coffee at its 26 cafeterias in 2011.

          For more information, read the Green public procurement in practice news alert.

          Glasgow aims to power historic house with hydro electricity

          A soon-to-be-implemented hydro electric scheme could power one of Glasgow’s (United Kingdom) most historic landmarks, Pollock House. Sustainable Glasgow, the Council’s initiative to ensure a sustainable future, is drawing up plans for a water power project in Pollok Country Park which will generate sustainable energy by harnessing the power of the White Cart river. Installation of turbines and the connection to Pollok House will cost around £250,000. Revenue from the sale of electricity partnered with the Feed-in Tariff (a sustainable energy cash-back scheme) will equate to around £47,000 a year, meaning that the system will pay for itself within five years.

          Councillor Alistair Watson, Executive Member for Sustainability & Transport, said: "Harnessing the power of rivers to generate clean, sustainable energy is an exciting proposition for the city and this project is actually going back to the future, as tools in the sawmill were originally powered by a water wheel”.

          For more information, visit the Glasgow City Council website.

          2. ICLEI World Congress to highlight role of women leaders in sustainability

          Global leaders such as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (pictured), United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, have stated there is a pressing need for full and effective engagement of women across all tiers of the global climate discussion. In a call to action titled Women Leaders: Time to step it up for gender equality presented at the conclusion of the recent Women and Power: Building a Different World conference held on 28 February, the three leaders stated:“Amplifying women’s voices, expanding their agency, and boosting their leadership and influence is vital to the achievement of democracy, good governance, economic development, environmental sustainability, and peace. […] In this century, in the face of new global challenges, women and men must share responsibility for determining their futures, and in building peaceful, climate-resilient communities”.

          In response to the growing need for gender-related sustainability dialogue, the ICLEI World Congress 2015 will host Women leaders transforming cities to address how local governments can foster women’s leadership and participation at all levels of the sustainability discussion. Best practice examples will showcase how local governments are working to amplify the voice of women in decision making, and engaging grassroots women’s organisations in the development of gender-sensitive urban solutions. The session will be led by Councillor Cathy Oke from the City of Melbourne (Australia), Michele Sabban president of R20 Regions of Climate Action, and Åsa Karlsson Björkmarker, Deputy Mayor of Växjö (Sweden).

          For more information, view the ICLEI World Congress website.

          3. “Create solutions that suit your city” say Chief Resilience Officers

          Identifying risks and establishing solutions that are specific to each individual city have been cited as the most important aspects of ensuring a city’s resilience by the Chief Resilience Officers (CRO) of global cities interviewed in Cities Today magazine. Each city, namely Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Vejle (Denmark), Glasgow (United Kingdom), New Orleans and Boulder (USA), Porto Alegre (Brazil), and Christchurch (New Zealand), is involved in the 100 Resilient Cities Challenge (100RC)

          Arnoud Molenaar, CRO for ICLEI member Rotterdam (The Netherlands), advises: “Use the knowledge and expertise that is already available around the world. Create solutions that suit your city, by adopting the best solutions and fine-tuning them to your situation. Envisage what type of city you would like to be and trace that vision back to your resilience strategy, taking into account globalisation, urbanisation, increasing ICT [information communication technologies] dependence and climate change”.

          The 100RC Challenge assists cities in becoming more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges faced by urban areas in the 21st century.

          For more information, visit the Cities Today website.

          4. GrowSmarter project implements smart city solutions

          Mayors and delegates from cities across Europe gathered with industry leaders in Stockholm (Sweden) in February to mark the launch of a new €25 million project, GrowSmarter, designed to shorten the path towards a more sustainable and environmentally smarter Europe. The project is expected to create up to 1,500 new jobs.

          ICLEI members Stockholm and Barcelona (Spain), along with Cologne (Germany), will act as “lighthouse cities” within the project, implementing 12 smart city solutions: from advanced information and communication technology and better connected urban mobility, to energy efficiency. Five “follower cities” Cork (Ireland), Graz (Austria), Malta (Malta), Porto (Portugal) and Suceava (Romania) will work in close partnership with the “lighthouse cities” to learn from their experiences, and provide a market for solutions suitable for their specific local context.

          Opening the launch, Karin Wanngård, Mayor of Stockholm, said: “GrowSmarter holds a huge potential to create and spread new ideas enabling cities to develop in a social, environmental and economically sustainable way”. The project is spearheaded by a team of European partners, including ICLEI.

          For more information, visit the GrowSmarter website.

          5. CO-POWER pushes for community energy to be enshrined in EU law

          Senior officials from the European Union and Member States are negotiating a framework for climate and energy legislation reform that will set the basis until 2030. In the past, the approach advocated by projects such as ClientEarth and CO-POWER has been largely missing from the debate: community energy.

          While EU legislation implicitly backs some aspects of community energy– where citizens own or participate in the production and use of sustainable energy – it doesn't explicitly recognise or support it. ClientEarth’s latest report Community Power: Model legal frameworks for citizen-owned renewable energy argues it is time for the EU to acknowledge the growing role of citizens in developing a more sustainable energy system. The CO-POWER project, in line with ClientEarth’s position, has developed recommendations for measures and legislation at EU level and in seven target member states (Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Spain, and the United Kingdom).

          For more information, visit the CO-POWER website.

          6. Renewable energy makes significant contribution to emissions reduction

          Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions may have been 7 percent higher in 2012 without the deployment of renewable energy from 2005 onwards concludes a new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The use of coal would have resulted in a 13 percent increase in harmful emissions, while natural gas would have seen a 7 percent increase.

          The share of renewable energy was 15 percent of the EU’s total energy consumption in 2013, surpassing the target set in the European Commission’s Renewable Energy Directive. EEA Executive Director Hans Bruyninckx said: “Renewable energy is quickly becoming one of Europe’s great success stories. We can go even further: if we support innovation in this area it could become a major motor of Europe’s economy, bringing down emissions while creating jobs”.

          In addition to renewable energy, other factors have also been responsible for the decrease in Europe’s emissions. These include policies and measures designed to improve energy efficiency, as well as changing economic factors and the increasing shift to cleaner fuels. The report adds to the growing body of evidence that low-carbon development can reduce emissions while stimulating economic growth.

          For more information, visit the European Environment Agency website.

          7. EC Energy Union to regulate energy and transition to low-carbon EU

          Energy, an intrinsic element of European society, heats and cools buildings and homes, transports goods, and helps power the economy. However, until now there has been no singular energy market in Europe, meaning aging infrastructure, poorly integrated markets, and uncoordinated policies have resulted in underutilised and unevenly distributed energy, pricing and choice.

          In an announcement made in late February delivering on the top priority set out in President Juncker's political guidelines, the European Commission has outlined its strategy to achieve a resilient Energy Union with a forward-looking climate change policy. Dubbed "the biggest energy project since the Coal and Steel Community," by Maros Šefčovič European Commission Vice-President responsible for Energy Union (pictured), at the core of the coalition is the goal of a transition to a “low-carbon society that is built to last”.

          Specifically, the Energy Union will: implement a solidarity clause to reduce dependence on single suppliers; enforce and maintain free energy flows across borders; place energy efficiency first by “fundamentally rethinking energy efficiency and treating it as an energy source in its own right so that it can compete on equal terms with generation capacity”; and transition to a low-carbon Europe, emphasising energy and technology produced in the EU.

          For more information, visit the European Commission website.

          8. Event News

          4th Local and Regional Authorities Conference at World Water Forum in Korea

          ICLEI has joined forces with an international partnership - including UCLG, UN-Habitat/GWOPA, and the World Water Council - to organise another edition of the Local and Regional Authorities Conference as part of the upcoming 7th World Water Forum in the Republic of Korea. The conference will take place in Gyeongju on 13 – 14 April 2015, immediately after the ICLEI World Congress (8 – 12 April 2015).

          The conference invites local and regional decision makers, planners and managers to investigate local challenges and implementation pathways in the field of water. This includes looking at the strengths of multilevel water governance, as well as the wide range of partnerships which are available for local and regional governments to build their capacities and pool resources for more integrated and effective approaches in the future. The spotlight will also be on the opportunities at sub-national level deriving from global policy processes - in particular the expected endorsement of a Sustainable Development Goal solely dedicated to water. 

          For more information, view the event programme.

          Registration for CARE-North plus Final Conference open

          Registration is now open for the CARE-North plus final conference ‘On the Move! – Transport Strategies for a Low Carbon Future’, which will take place in Bremen (Germany) on 15 – 16 April 2015. The event will highlight comprehensive, strategic and practical approaches to urban and regional transport and accessibility for the North Sea Region. Shared mobility, developing a cycling culture, provocative scenarios about the future of urban mobility and the potential of e-mobility have been a focus of the project, the outcomes of which will be shared with conference participants.

          The two day event will be moderated by Holger Robrecht, Deputy Regional Director of ICLEI Europe. Guest speaker Susan Zielinski, Managing Director of Sustainable Mobility & Accessibility Research & Transformation (SMART) at the University of Michigan, will deliver the key note address. 

          For more information, visit the CARE-North plus website.

           Sustainable Energy Europe Awards deadline extended to 16 March

          The Sustainable Energy Europe Awards 2015 have extended the deadline for submission: applicants now have until 16 March to complete their nomination. Taking place during the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) on 15 – 19 June, the awards highlight the best sustainable energy projects across Europe.

          Categories for the 2015 awards are: Cities, Communities and Regions; Renewable Energy; and Energy Efficiency. Nominees and winners will be invited to the awards ceremony, giving them increased European visibility. 

          For more information, visit the EU Sustainable Energy Europe website.

           ZeitzeicheN local German sustainability awards open

          The ninth Netzwerk21Kongress (Network 21 Congress) ZeitzeicheN local German sustainability award is now open, and interested parties are encouraged to apply. The aim of the award is to promote commitment to a sustainable future, highlighting initiatives that push forward green actions. Successful applicants will be awarded within the following categories: initiatives, business, municipalities, youth, education for sustainable development, and international partnerships.

          The evaluation of proposals will be conducted by the Netzwerk21Kongress jury, who will allocate the €14,000 prize money. The awards will be presented on the first day of the congress, which will be held in Lübeck (Germany) from 4 – 5 November 2015. Supporters and sponsors of the award include the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the German Federal Environment Agency, and ICLEI.

          For more information, visit the Netzwerk21Kongress website [in German].

          9. Event Calendar

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

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

          Sustainable Public Procurement workshop
          12 April 2015 – Seoul (Republic of Korea)

          7th World Water Forum
          12 – 17 April 2015 – Daegu and Gyeongbuk (Republic of Korea)

          Regional Authorities Conference
          13 – 14 April 2015 – Gyeongju (Republic of Korea)

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

          RAMSES 2nd Stakeholder Dialogue
          11 May – 2015 Copenhagen (Denmark)

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