1. ICLEI Member News
Rotterdam joins sustainable tropical timber initiative
The European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition (STTC) saw its membership increase during its recent conference in ICLEI Member Rotterdam (The Netherlands), with the host city ending the conference by joining the coalition. ‘We aim to be the world’s most sustainable port city and we see joining the STTC as integral to that,’ said Leon Dijk, Sustainable Procurement specialist with Rotterdam City Council. Almost 100 people from across the STTC membership took part in the conference.
The STTC recently launched a €2 million funding campaign to help local authorities and businesses implement sustainable timber procurement policies. The Netherlands has been particularly active in promoting sustainable tropical timber, backing the STTC and implementing a procurement system that has seen a rise in sustainable timber’s market share from 13.4 percent to 74 percent. By stimulating demand for sustainable tropical timber, European authorities can prevent deforestation and provide a livelihood for millions of people in developing countries.
For more information on joining the STTC, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image copyright: Pixabay
Berlin stops new investments in fossil-fuel companies
Following in the footsteps of cities such as Paris (France), Copenhagen (Denmark), Oslo (Norway), Seattle (USA) and Melbourne (Australia), the German capital of Berlin has announced that it will no longer invest in fossil fuel companies. The move comes amid pressure to pull support from companies that work against the city's goal of being climate neutral by 2050. This includes oil, coal, and gas companies.
“Berlin is the latest major city to commit to cut its financial ties to the fossil fuel industry, so soon after Stockholm took the step,” said Melanie Mattauch, Europe Communications Coordinator for 350.org, speaking to Cities Today. “The fact that cities around the world distance themselves from the companies whose business model pushes us into irreversible climate change shows that public support for coal, oil and gas companies is quickly eroding.”
“Efforts by cities to become more resource efficient, reduce their emissions and improve their resilience are vital for the wellbeing and quality of life of their citizens, as well as for our overall success in tackling climate change,” added Mattauch. The campaign to convince major institutions to divest from companies that disproportionately contribute to climate change has seen great success around the world, with universities, pension funds and religious institutions also committing.
For more information, visit Cities Today.
Image copyright: Pixabay
Glasgow invests in development of new urban Nature Park
The City of Glasgow (UK) is set to create Scotland’s largest urban heritage and Nature Park, investing £6.8 million to create a green area that will encompass 16km² of lochs (lakes), parks, nature reserves and woodlands. The project will also see the development of walking and cycling routes and improvements to paths and signage within the park, allowing people to better experience the natural and cultural heritage of the area.
"The Seven Lochs Wetland Park is an exemplar of Green Network planning and delivery. It is a place with an abundance of natural resources; important natural habitats, historic sites and established places for recreation. This major new urban wildlife park will be the jewel in the crown of the wider Green Network and bring a host of benefits for local people and visitors alike,” said Max Hislop, Programme Manager for the Glasgow & Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership.
Glasgow is a core city of Smart Mature Resilience, a multi-disciplinary research project working for more resilient cities in Europe. The city works closely with scientists to develop Glasgow’s resilience against hazards and challenges brought on by climate change. Glasgow is particularly working on addressing flood risk management, water issues and drainage. The natural wetlands and open green spaces will help to absorb excess water in the case of flooding, taking Glasgow a step further on its path towards resilience.
For more information, visit sevenlochs.org.
Image copyright: Glasgow City Council
Lisbon is ICLEI Europe’s latest Member in the Spotlight
The achievements and ambitious sustainability plans of ICLEI Member Lisbon (Portugal) can be read about on the ICLEI Europe website as part of the ongoing Member in the Spotlight series. Lisbon was chosen for the series thanks to its success in developing sustainability policies in fields including mobility, green infrastructure, waste management and energy efficiency. The City of Lisbon also recently endorsed the Basque Declaration.
Lisbon’s sustainability efforts have had a significant effect on the local environment over the last years, helping the city to reach ambitious goals such as reducing their CO2 emissions by 50 percent and lowering energy consumption by almost a quarter between 2002 and 2014. A green infrastructure plan is being implemented as a tool to face local urban climate challenges, which could be replicated in other European countries facing similar issues. If you'd like to share your city's progress in building a more sustainable future, contact us at email@example.com.
To view the Lisbon MITS page, click here.
Image copyright: City of Lisbon