Our Activities: International projects
The project deals with issues of municipal climate mitigation and adaptation to climate change with a particular emphasis on the Alpine region. The project addresses in particular local authorities that are interested in joining the Covenant of Mayors. For this purpose, a supporting tool for developing sustainable energy action plans with an alpine-specific approach will be developed. Furthermore trainings for local authorities will be offered.
Within the SURE project, co-funded by the EU CIUDAD programme, the cities of Friedrichshafen (DE) and Murcia (ES) accompanied the first cities in Belarus (Polotsk) and Morocco (Salé) in developing their Sustainable Energy Action Plans. As subcontractor, Climate Alliance was responsible for the preparation of a brochure targeted at national and local authorities in the EU neighbourhood countries, informing about EU energy and neighbourhood policies and financial instruments as well as about the Covenant of Mayors as an opportunity for local sustainable energy policies.
Climate Star 2012
For the fifth time Climate Alliance invited local authorities in Europe to apply with exemplary climate protection actions and measures for a Climate Star. On invitation of the Federal State of Lower Austria 20 cities, municipalities and local authorities associations from nine European countries were awarded for their commitment in climate protection. The honoured communities set themselves ambitious climate protection goals in avoiding CO2 emissions and using renewable energies.
Municipalities and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
The EU-funded project encourages networking among the municipalities in Europe, who have committed to attainment of the MDGs. The project is coordinated by the city of Bonn. Partners include Bonn’s partner cities of Oxford and Potsdam in addition to Villach in Austria, Nagykanizsa in Hungary, the European Secretariat of Climate Alliance, Climate Alliance Austria, and Reflex in Hungary. A preliminary themed workshop was held in Oxford in 2011 on experiences and trends in the development of fair trade activities.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) should contribute to acknowledging the world’s biggest problems, and to reducing these in a targeted manner. Unfortunately, only a few countries will be able to achieve the aims by 2015. One key obstacle is the lack of cooperation on the local, regional and national levels.
As a complement to the MDGs, we are also working on the Millennium Consumer Goals (MCGs) within the project, which were introduced by Professor Munasinghe at the 2011 International Annual Conference in Munich (www.millenniumconsumptiongoals.org). These goals address the use of resources by 20% of the global population, which is responsible for the consumption of 80% of resources. Members will agree a resolution on this at the 2012 International Annual Conference.
Based on the success of the previous project ‘RES Champions League’ organisations in the field of sustainable energy and rural territories over Europe get impetus for the project 100%-RES-Communities. At the same time the RES Champions League will be continued in the framework of this project. The project 100%-RES-Communities aims for experimenting and developing a model of joint Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs). The SEAPs will be implemented in rural territories and municipalities in nine European countries. In this model, rural local authorities sign the Covenant of Mayors together with a territorial authority acting as Territorial Coordinator.
The aim of the project is to promote renewable energies and energy efficiency by raising awareness and facilitating information exchange with an interactive online map. The map shows concrete examples for sustainable energy use and related information to encourage people to follow these examples. Furthermore, the project promotes know-how exchange and the spread of innovative technologies at local level and across borders. The project is supported by the Intelligent Energy Europe programme of the European Union.
Representatives of 16 European cities, research institutes and Climate Alliance launched the Transitioning towards Urban Resilience and Sustainability (TURaS) project in autumn 2011. The aim of this project is to enhance urban resilience and sustainability in light of the challenges of continued urban growth and simultaneously ever-greater impact of climate change. Issues range from urban biodiversity to a higher risk of flooding to increased consumption. New strategies should be developed together, which allow the cities of Europe to adjust to climate change and to reduce their urban ecological footprint. Here you can download the TURaS brochure (344 KB).
NET-COM - Networking the Covenant of Mayors
The need for networking among the municipalities grows with the number of signatories. The NET-COM EU project primarily seeks to encourage national networking among the signatories. Thus a total of 12 national platforms – in Italy, Austria and Germany, among other countries – have been created, which focus on the exchange of political and specialist knowledge for realisation of the Covenant aims. The involvement of key actors is planned in a next step.
Green procurement means being aware of the environmental friendliness of products and services when purchasing. On the website of the Buy Smart+ EU project, interested companies and public institutions can obtain guidelines and tender aids, procurement guidelines and examples of good practices. Information is available on the product groups of office equipment, vehicles, lighting, eco-power, household appliances, and eco-labelling. The project organises workshops and offers local authorities free advice. Climate Alliance is responsible for public relations work for the project, and will inform its members of the Buy Smart+ offers.
The aim of the IEE project launched in May 2011 is to extend coverage of the Naviki internet-based bicycle navigation system for Germany to cover all of Europe. Naviki was developed by the Software Engineering Lab at Münster University of Applied Sciences, and offers cyclist free route planning. Cyclists can use a smartphone or GPS device to navigate the network of cycle paths while out and about in the city or countryside. The cycle path network in Naviki is continually being enhanced through a wiki in which the routes uploaded by users are automatically linked to an increasingly dense network. Municipalities can use Naviki to offer their inhabitants and visitors their own bicycle navigation system in which points of interest are marked, and cyclists are ideally routed via the official cycle path network, for example. Municipalities can also offer Naviki as a planning tool. The EU project unites nine organisations from Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain, and is due to run until the end of 2013.
The “POLIS – Identification and mobilisation of Solar POtentials via Local strategies” IEE project supports strategic solar-oriented urban development. The potential of European cities for solar energy usage should be mobilised through the cooperation of several cities committed to solar planning (Lisbon, Lyons, Paris, Malmö, Munich and Vitoria-Gasteiz). Climate Alliance is responsible for the compilation of a variety of planning tools in the final phase of this project, which is due to end in August 2012 after a 3-year period. Climate Alliance shall also draw up guidelines in several languages summarising the project outcomes and featuring general recommendations for action.
The motto of the project funded within the scope of the EU's CONCERTO programme is "Old mines – New energy". It explored the supply of residential areas in former coal mining areas with geothermal energy from decommissioned mines to cover the heating and cooling requirements in four municipalities: Heerlen (NL), Zagorj (SL), Czeladz (PL) and Bourgas / Cherno More (BG). The system is based on low-energy standards and is supported by integrated building designs and energy concepts. Climate Alliance is responsible for public relations work on the European level and for supplying the general public in the pilot municipalities with information. It is working on a brochure for political decision-makers, which is due to be published in 2011.
The EU-financed EnergyBridges project was carried out together with ASTM – Action Solidarité Tiers Monde / Climate Alliance Luxembourg, Védegylet / Protect the Future (Hungary), Nadace Partnerství (Czech Environmental Partnership Foundation) and with the south partners Frente de Defensa de la Amazonía, Programa de Formación de Maestros Bilingües de la Amazonía Peruana and Centro de documentacion e informacion Bolivia.
Particularly the partners from the Czech Republic and Hungary were able to entrench the subject of energy justice as a new focus in the cooperation with state institutions and other NGOs in their countries. The "Luxembourg Appeal" was passed during a concluding press conference, in which Camile Gira also participated as the representative of Climate Alliance’s executive board. In this document, the EU states are called upon to do more for climate protection, to support the developing countries in their efforts to adapt to climate change, and to commit themselves further to the development of renewable energies. The project highlight was assuredly the delegation trip to Ecuador in 2009, which left a lasting impression on all participants and has since led to a great many follow-up events. The countless art initiatives held at schools with artist Michael Müller also added a whole new dimension of discussion to the topics of energy justice and rainforest protection.
pro-EE – Public Procurement boosts Energy Efficiency
pro-EE is a Climate Alliance project funded within the scope of the Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) programme, which aimed to contribute to joint procurement for the enhanced market penetration of energy-efficient products. In 2010, training was held for municipalities in all countries participating in the pro-EE project (Spain, Italy, Austria, Germany, Greece, Portugal) and in addition in Hungary and Slovakia. Five pilot municipalities developed an integrated energy efficiency plan within this project – taking local interest groups into consideration and performing public relations work for citizens. In autumn 2010, the concluding conference was held in Linz. It was well-attended by around 200 procurement experts and attracted a great deal of media attention. All project documents are available in six languages on the project homepage.
Capacity Building: Municipal Climate Protection in the Ukraine
A reliable energy supply and efficiency are the biggest challenges for the Ukraine. The activities implemented include adjustment and translation of various Climate Alliance tools for use in the Ukraine in addition to training and internships for Ukrainian energy managers within German local authorities. The methodology for the preparation of energy action plans has been finalised. With six energy efficiency plans, the target number (plans in ten cities) could not be achieved by the time of project conclusion due to political changes. This being said, a number of other cities have launched similar activities, and can make use of to the tried-and-tested tools. At the same time, the project has had numerous major direct outcomes for the region: countless follow-up projects have been initiated (including the Covenant of Mayors EAST launched in October 2011), which will support activities for the development of municipal energy plans (with the support of Climate Alliance). Furthermore, the project’s lasting impact is ensured by the newly established energy agency. The “Train the trainers” approach to the creation of plans and the internet-based CO2 monitoring tool have proven to be extremely cost-effective tools, and can also be recommended for other countries in the region.
The Europe-wide mobilisation campaign "Smart-e Buildings" tackles the huge energy-saving potential of the building sector. It aims at giving owners of - new and refurbished, public and private - buildings, public authorities and citizens access to information on energy efficiency and renewable energy perspectives, thus enabling them to take action and go for large-scale investments in those sectors. "Smart-e Buildings" aims at involving 2 million Europeans through an interactive web portal linked to the main social networks currently used.
Within this project, Climate Alliance leads on capacity building in sustainable energy, supported by ICLEI Europe and 15 partners, amongst others Bourgas (BG), Miskolc (HU), Woking Borough Council (UK), Bologna (IT), Ludwigsburg (DE) and regions as the Province of Siena in Italy. Guidance is provided to local governments - from pioneers to beginners, from decision-makers to municipal staff. It includes providing support in developing CO2 emissions inventories and Local Energy Action Plans (LEAPs), as well as organising peer-to-peer exchanges and learning opportunities such as study tours, staff trainee exercises and specialised workshops.
On April 2010 and February 2011 Climate Alliance organised a study tour in Munich and a workshop on CO2 emissions reduction planning and monitoring.
Local Governments Climate Partnership
Learning from each other and undertaking joint action in mitigating climate change are at the centre of the Local Governments Climate Partnership initiative. With Germany, the USA and Japan being the causers of about 30 percent of the worldwide CO2 emissions, exceptionally effective climate protection measures are required to achieve the necessary emission reductions. In this context, action on the local level is essential. The priority of the Local Governments Climate Partnership is therefore to support an active exchange on local climate change policies among German cities and their twin cities in Japan and the USA.
In February 2010, a study tour to the USA was organised. Seven German cities (Esslingen, Freiburg, Friedrichshafen, Hamburg, Kaiserslautern, Mainz and Stuttgart) met their US twin cities to exchange and debate their experiences, approaches and achievements in local climate policies. The study tour started with an expert meeting hosted by the City of Chicago, followed by the visits of the German cities to their sister cities.
Climate Alliance and the Heidelberg Ifeu Institute were in charge of carrying out this research project on behalf of the German Federal Agency for the Environment. Apart from creating opportunities for twin cities to meet and exchange, they have developed a specific tool to enable efficient mutual learning: The Climate Cities Benchmark.
What can EU member states learn from each other in the promotion of renewable energies? How can they best provide support at a local level? The final project outcomes were presented during the European Sustainable Energy Week in March 2010: Instruments and policy recommendations in addition to trainings with options for political decision makers to support RES and it increases the awareness of the benefits of RES to regional stakeholders. The project consortium comprised twelve partners. Within this, ministers and national energy agencies with direct access to the according policy processes constituted a core group.
The project, supported by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme, promotes energy efficiency in existing residential buildings with a focus on freehold flats of persons with low income and social housing. Within the project, energy exploitation and performance contracting were organised, elaborated and evaluated in four pilot locations: Heerlen (NL), Ogre (LV), Pieria (GR) and Pécsvárad (HU). The triannual project was completed at the end of November 2009
AMICA – Adaptation and Mitigation: an Integrated Climate Policy Approach
The AMICA project was concluded at the end of 2007. For the last two years the AMICA project has been studying ways of mitigating and adapting to climate change, laying the foundations for an integrated local climate policy. AMICA's work has attracted widespread public interest. AMICA was referred to as a positive example in the IPCC Report. Events at which the results have been presented include a workshop at the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities on Adaptation to Climate (Strasbourg, September 2007) and the Consultation Workshops of the European Commission in Helsinki and Lisbon. The closing conference was held in the autumn 2007 in Linz, Austria. In addition to booklets with illustrative examples (in English, Italian and German), an online tool for an integrated methodology is available in English. On the basis of AMICA's findings, recommendations to the EU on the Green Paper on adaptation were drawn up and sent to MEPs.
This three-year project (financed through the EU's Intelligent Energy Programme) was concluded at the end of 2007. It supports the expansion of combined heat and power (CHP) and combined cold and power facilities with an electric capacity of up to 1 megawatt. Details of more than 1,300 CHP facilities have been recorded in an Internet-based database and country-specific information about CHP has been produced.
The project has been coordinated by Cogen Europe, a European trade association for the promotion of cogeneration. Climate Alliance took particular responsibility for dissemination and promotion; other partners involved in the project were the city network Energie-Cités, the Jozef Stefan Institute (SI), the Institut de Conseil et d'Etudes en Développement Durable (BE), the Rhônalpénergie-Environnement (FR), the Fundación Asturiana de la Energía (ES), the city of Frankfurt am Main (DE) and the Grazer Energieagentur (AT).
PRIME - Private Investments move Ecopower
In this project initiated by the Climate Alliance and financed by the EU’s Intelligent Energy Programme, 14 partners from eight countries worked together to develop and publicize innovative models and ideas for the private financing of sustainable energy projects. The project produced an "Action Package" which provided helpful aids, described requirements and quoted examples of local PRIME projects. Ideally a local PRIME project combines measures to improve energy efficiency with measures to use renewables. At least 20 percent of the funding should come from private-sector capital. As a result of PRIME, a project of this type was initiated in the province of Bologna (IT). Sustainable energy projects based on PRIME were also initiated in Antwerp (BE) and Graz (AT).
Black Gold from Green Forests – Oil in the Amazon region
The project was carried out in cooperation with Climate Alliance Austria and ASTM (Action Solidarité Tiers-Monde) / Climate Alliance Lëtzebuerg and was funded by the European Commission. To mark the conclusion of this successful project in February 2006, high-profile activities were carried out in Austria, Luxembourg and Germany in order to draw attention to the problems arising from dependence upon mineral oil in the industrialised and developing world alike. The diverse activities, presentation and materials produced in the three countries also focussed on the adverse effects upon indigenous peoples in Amazonia resulting from mineral oil extraction in their territories.
There were information events in municipalities and schools. The oil-art actions were carried out together with the artist Michael A. Müller in schools and social institutions and had a big resonance. The school painting campaign resulted in an "Arts catalogue", and individual pictures were reproduced as postcards.
In the framework of the project two delegation tours with representatives of local authorities from Austria, Luxembourg and Germany were organised. The first journey led to Peru. The goal of the second tour was the northern Amazon area of Ecuador where the participants could see by themselves the fatal consequences of oil extraction since the 30 years.