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Welcome

Many European local and regional authorities have gone through the process of defining a Climate Change Strategy and are now striving for implementing ambitious climate and energy targets. This is the point where strategic management most commonly fails and this is the point where CHAMP aims to give support facilities.

This second CHAMP newsletter will give you an insight to the Integrated Management System (IMS) trainings for local authorities that are now taking place in CHAMP countries as well as to the online Capacity Development Package (CDP) under construction among many other issues.

We invite you to find more about our project and the integrated management system on our website, and are happy to help your city to cope with the challenge of climate change!

The project team

Capacity building and climate change – what is needed?

Capacity building, capacity development – words and terms that are used everywhere, not always very clearly. And how can that relate to climate change? Is there something to be called capacity for climate change response?

In CHAMP our main activities can be summarized by just this: capacity development for climate change response. That is why we want to look at what this really means and clarify our understanding:
Some describe capacity development as an approach or process towards a target; some see it as a development objective. Often used is in fact a mixture of both or something in between. The objective of capacity development is described in developing or more effectively utilize skills, abilities and resources; strengthen understanding and relationships in order to support sustainable development.

Image 2Local authorities need to improve management capacity
Local authorities provide numerous services for their citizens. To meet the challenges of increased responsibility and new problems local authorities need to build management capacity, in order to be able to deliver good quality public services. Obtaining more or better capacity in integrated management approach helps them to achieve this.

Urban planning is one of the main tasks local authorities and climate change mitigation and adaptation relates to this closely. Capacity building for climate change refers to the development or strengthening of personal skills, expertise, and relevant institutions and organizations to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to reduce vulnerability to climate-related impacts. To respond to climate change many issues need to be rethought form the traditional planning in a city. The topic itself forces an integrated approach because climate change adaptation and also mitigation can not be dealt with sectorally. Here it connects closely with the capacity for integrated management approaches, all sectors will benefit from it.

Climate change response requires generation of knowledge; about the climatic system, local scenarios, where to get the data from and how to turn it into useful information. Having the knowledge alone is not enough; it needs to be integrated with other information and local knowledge. This means that experts need to be found, stakeholders need to be involved and especially cross-sectoral/departmental work is essential to get the most out of it. Most important of course is the connection of the knowledge to the action and here the integrated management approach also supports.

In CHAMP we are delivering different kinds of capacity:

  • in the train-the trainer workshops trainers develop the capacity to guide and support the cities and regions through the process of an IMS
  • with the training workshops and tools online for the local authorities, we support them to develop their own capacity in climate change response

In this newsletter you will find out about our capacity development activities and you are very welcome to contact us for further information!

Text: Esther Kreutz
Foto: Sven Schulz

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How to become a Champion in climate change response? The CHAMP capacity development package

You aim at becoming a champion in sustainability? Win the champions league trophy in sustainable energy supply? Go for a world record in climate mitigation through regional and local partnerships? Develop a profile as first-class business place top-ranked in offering outstanding quality of life? Well, there is no champion without practice, no trophy without training, no world record without developing relevant and targeted capacities.

Local and regional governments are striving for implementing ambitious climate and energy targets and at the same time starting to fight the immediate consequences and adapt to climate change. While changing energy supply patterns away from fossil fuel, implementing energy efficiency measures in public and private buildings, advancing sustainable mobility, cities and regions are assessing robustness and appropriateness of their technical infrastructure in regard of their adaptive capacity during floods, heavy rains, droughts or heat-waves. Climate change, obviously, is a cross-sectoral concern. And local and regional governments are best suited to tackle the challenges.

Image 3 However, lacking support to develop capacities with local and regional decision-makers, planners, technicians, or local consultants and auditors has been identified as one of the significant obstacles for mainstreaming integrated management as requested by numerous European strategies and regulations like the EU Territorial Agenda, or the Leipzig charter, to name some. But mainstreaming sustainable development does not only request political mandate, it also needs practical training!

Questions in regard of the ‘How-to’ remain unanswered. How to continuously implement sustainable development when combating climate change? How to set up a successful and adaptive local management? How to set, implement, and achieve climate and energy targets? How to verify achievements?

The CHAMP project has been set up by the ‘Managing Urban Europe Initiative’ to fill this gap and offer training capacity in four European countries to start with. The ultimate aim is to develop a training structure in all EU Member States. The first step is a so-called Capacity Development Package for local and regional sustainability managers, planners, and decision-makers on one hand, trainers and auditors on the other. The Package is based on the experience that all these local actors do hold significant knowledge, facilities, and capacity in sustainable development and climate change response management. There is no need to start from scratch and build up new skills. A much bigger task is to identify, dig out and continuously further develop these pre-existing capacities.

The Package will offer guidance to the target groups mentioned in implementing and organizing an Integrated Management System (IMS) for local and regional climate change response. It follows the integrated and cyclic management approach as presented in the EU Guidance on Integrated Environmental Management, a guide in support of the EU Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment. The Package is based on the IMS developed and tested in previous EU-funded projects, in particular Managing Urban Europe-25 and Enviplans.

The Package is developed as a stand-alone tool including a manual for practitioners, didactical material for trainers, checklists for both, self-evaluation of administrations and third-party audits. The online platform will offer numerous resources for download, including all manuals, good practice examples, tools and templates for climate specific management, glossaries, links, as well as training programmes and material.

During the CHAMP project, the Package is being tested in Train-of-Trainer workshops as well as in practical application with cities and regions. Based on the experiences and feedback by participants, the Package will be revised and concluded by the closing of the project in 2011.

Text: Holger Robrecht, ICLEI
Contact: holger.robrecht(at)iclei.org

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Trained to be trainers!

How can I plan trainings for local authorities? Which methods can I use and which topics are crucial? What are my tasks as a trainer? To find answers to all of these questions, ICLEI organised the initial “train-the-trainers” workshop for the CHAMP project partners in October 2009.
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Within the CHAMP project local and regional authorities have the opportunity to take part in training workshops about integrated management organised by the national training hubs in Finland, Germany, Hungary and Italy. To be able to offer good quality training the national training hubs need capable trainers who will guide and support the local authorities through the workshops.

The initial “train-the-trainers” workshop gave the possibility for all future trainers in the partner organisations to go through the material, get new ideas and inspirations and learn new methods that can be used in the trainings in their home countries. The goal of the three-day workshop in Freiburg was to provide a similar training for the trainers as they will give to the local authorities in their own countries.

During the train-the-trainers workshop the participants went thoroughly through the different steps of the integrated management system, keeping in mind the special features of local governments. Proceeding from one step to the next, especially the role of communication in meeting climate targets and promoting stakeholder involvement have been discussed. The participants gained many new ideas; however, a lot was left for the trainers to decide what perspectives they wish to introduce in the training in their own countries.
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During the CHAMP project, the national training hubs themselves will organise train-the-trainers workshops and equip more trainers with the material, so that a bigger number of trainers is available in each country. The trainers are the “heart” of the training processes: they make the connection with the local authority and create commitment of the administrative staff, the political leaders and the public. They are the main and first contact during the training period and therefore need to be prepared well for their tasks.

More information about further train-the-trainer workshops in the national training hubs will be announced at www.localmanagement.eu

Text: Lotta Mattsson and Esther Kreutz
Fotos: Sven Schulz and ICLEI

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EMAS and Sustainability Management for Local Authorities

In February 2009 the German CHAMP partners together with the German Committee for Environmental Auditors invited auditors; the German Ministry of Environment, EMAS certified local authorities and standardisation organisations to a common workshop in Bonn (Germany). The aim was to discuss the current situation of EMAS in local authorities, the extension of EMAS towards the strategic environmental aspects and use of EMAS as a basis for sustainability management.

Participants agree that EMAS is a good basis for sustainability management
EMAS III is now much more focusing on so called indirect aspects which are the key tasks for local and regional authorities (land use planning, specific planning such as traffic and energy, procurement, etc.). It allows reporting about all aspects of sustainable development – also within the environmental declaration, if it is clearly stated that only the environmental aspects have been certified. It is possible and recommendable to certify the Environmental Statement according to EMAS and the sustainability report according to Global Reporting Initiative criteria or by an independent auditor.

Nevertheless this combination requires special responsibility of the auditor. Currently there are no special workshops on sustainability management or sustainable development for environmental auditors, but there is a demand for it!

However, the experience of the auditors shows: Local authorities are not very motivated to extend their EMAS environmental management to strategic aspects such as land use planning or procurement. There is a big gap between declarations and practice. Officially approved and measurable objectives and measures to improve strategic environmental aspects and regular controlling of the results are not in the interest of all (political) decision makers.

Local and regional authorities need incentives such as tax related advantages. In Germany, this would require a change of the financial and political framework. An advantage possible to deliver on a short term: Local and regional authorities with environmental/integrated management systems should receive additional evaluation points if they present a proposal to European or national funding programmes.

Indicators, Reporting and Benchmarking
Within CHAMP, a key set of indicators responding to the Aalborg Commitments will be identified out of the existing sets of indicators currently used in Europe. Of course, additionally to the key indicators, every local or regional authority could use specific indicators according to their specific circumstances and objectives.

The European Commission will develop EMAS Reference Documents for all economic sectors and for public bodies. Among other sector specific information they will include also key indicators. The Commission is even thinking of elaborating the benchmarking systems. Also ISO 26000 Standard on Social Responsibility will identify indicators for all core aspects. CHAMP will look to harmonize the different initiatives.

Evaluation and Standardisation of sustainability aspects
EMAS is a useful basis for sustainability management, because with its structure and processes all aspects can be managed towards continuous improvement. Nevertheless, EMAS does not allow the certification of sustainability management. The new ISO 26000 Standard for Social Responsibility covers almost all aspects of sustainability and contains elements of ISO 14001 and EMAS III, but currently it is a guidance standard and not a certifiable standard in most of the countries. Portugal developed ISO 26000 further into a certifiable standard (available since 2008) and other countries like Denmark are in the same process.

Good examples like the City of Neu-Ulm (Germany) show how environmental management can be reinforced within a sustainability management system, because the relevance of environmental aspects for other development objectives will be underlined and made transparent. Furthermore, IMS covers the political framework and challenges of local and regional authorities and responds to the argument of political decision makers regarding their obligation to take into account all dimensions of sustainability.

Within the objectives of CHAMP is the elaboration of a proposal for the standardisation and certification of Integrated Sustainability Management for Local and regional authorities. This could be based on an existing standard or could be the development

Text: Marion Hammerl, Lake Constance Foundation

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The long road to Sustainable Development – Case studies illustrate a worthwhile journey

As a part of the CHAMP project, case studies from European cities will be developed to portrait the efforts of local authorities to implement an integrated management system for sustainability (IMS) and describe their “take on it”.
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Three of the case studies portrait the efforts of local authorities in Great Britain, where many cities and districts have come a long way in implementing an IMS due to the requirements of national legislation: The Lewes District, the London Borough of Sutton and Leeds have all been working with environmental management systems for a long time. The London Borough of Sutton’s environmental management system, for example, has been EMAS certified since 1996.

Now, this pioneering work pays off, since they can draw on these experiences when it comes to implementing an integrated management system.
The fourth case study portraits the efforts of the City of Überlingen (Germany), which was the first local authority to get an EMAS certification for land-use planning.

The case studies give a brief overview over the respective local authority and its’ experience with environmental management systems and describe how and why the integrated management system is developed. The studies provide background information through web links to relevant documents on the internet and all of them will be available in electronic form in English and some of them in German, Italian, Hungarian and Finnish.

Managing the Unmanageable with an IMS
The “big risks” in the horizon for towns and cities are well known – climate change being perhaps the most prominent right now. Many cities and towns have reacted by compiling strategies for climate protection and climate change adaptation. What is lacking is a structure to ensure the success of these long-term strategies and to keep them in line with all the other strategies and plans a local authority has to develop: local authorities in Great Britain - for example - easily count about a dozen of strategies they are required to develop! How can a city manage to be “in the right place” twenty years from now?
Basically, local authorities are expected to manage the unmanageable!

The case studies illustrate how local authorities are getting a grip on long term development through the IMS and how the IMS will help them in delivering their climate protection targets by connecting existing strategies and gaining an understanding of the effects of their actions.
We do not need to identify new improvement mechanisms. Rather, we simply need to make the ones that we already have work properly!
(Tom Knowland, Case Study Leeds)

Text: Sven Schulz, Lake Constance Foundation
Foto: Bob Peters Clarence

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Capacity development activities in the CHAMP partner countries

Image 7 Italian cities started the trainings

CHAMP has raised a lot of interest among Italian local authorities: altogether 12 municipalities, five provinces, one network of lake districts and one water resources management authority have formally declared their interest in joining the project. Finally 14 of them, listed below, have committed themselves to follow the project activities in Italy by signing a specific Resolution in the Municipal Committee:

  • Municipalities of Ancona, Asti, Caltanisetta, Capannori, Cesano Maderno, Desio, Firenze, La Spezia, Mantova, Padova, Pavia;
  • Provinces of Bergamo, Perugia, Siena.

By joining the project, these local authorities will participate in five training workshops on the integrated management system (IMS) and they will develop or further implement an IMS in response to climate change effects, with the technical support of the Italian project partners.

The training activities in Italy started in February 2010. Over 20 participants from all the Italian pilot cities and provinces gathered in Milano for the first training workshop. The workshop was concentrating on the first step of Integrated Management System: the baseline review. Several presentations and exercises were carried out and ideas and experiences on the subject were exchanged.

The next trainings for Italian local authorities have been planned as follows:

  • 15th June 2010, Firenze - Target setting and political commitment;
  • November 2010 – Implementation and monitoring: the development of a Climate Action Plan;
  • February 2011 – Implementation and monitoring: organizational set-up for the Plan implementation;
  • May 2011 – Evaluation and reporting of the IMS.

Training materials and working tools are available on the Italian training hub web pages: http://www.localmanagement.eu/index.php/champ:italian_hub

Contact: champ(at)ambienteitalia.it
Text: Orsola Bolognani, Ambiente Italia

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Image 8 Start of the Hungarian capacity development trainings

Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency will organize the first CHAMP capacity building training for two days in the first week of June, 2010 in Siófok. The main focus of the training is the first step of the integrated management system, the baseline review.

At the moment there are 13 municipalities and one company taking part in the training: City of Kesz-thely, City of Balatonalmádi, City of Fonyód, City of Balatonföldvár, City of Balatonfűzfő, City of Siófok, City of Veszprém (county capital), City of Tatabánya (county capital), County Government of Somogy, local governments of Kimle, Taktaharkány and Taszár and Balaton Shipping Company.

Text: Zita, Egerszegi, Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency

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Image 9 New ideas from successful training workshops in Finland

In Finland, the first two CHAMP trainings for cities are now successfully behind. The trainings included presentations from representatives of UBC as well as the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, Finnish Environment Institute and the Prime Minister’s Office. The Finnish pilot cities and regions – Espoo, Helsinki, Hämeenlinna, Joensuu, Kainuu region, Kotka, Lahti, Oulu, Porvoo, Riihimäki, Salo, Tampere, Turku and Vantaa – were also in a major role giving insight to their local climate work and presenting good practices from the cities.
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Of 14 participating cities and regions, 10 already have a climate strategy or programme and 4 cities or regions are drafting one. However, participating cities have a wide range of climate goals and are in different phases on their climate work. This poses a challenge but also gives great opportunities for the workshops as the cities that are one step behind can learn from the experiences of the cities that are ahead. The importance of exchanging views on climate issues was clear as in many cases people dealing with climate issues in the cities don’t have a climate team to support them.

From sectoral thinking towards an integrated approach – new ideas
The 1st workshop organized in March concentrated on the first two steps of the IMS, baseline review and target setting. During the two-day training in Vantaa, cities were offered many perspectives on the process of conducting a baseline review and setting climate targets. In addition, a peer review training took place and the first pairs of cities made plans for peer reviewing during CHAMP project. Additionally, several exercises and group works were carried out and ideas and experiences on the subject were exchanged. The need for an integrated approach was clearly manifested. As Timo Permanto from the city of Lahti put it, it has become clear that if cities are to mitigate or adapt to climate change, it is necessary to move from sectoral thinking towards integrated management.

According to participants’ feedback, the 1st workshop was a success. For the host city Vantaa, “the most appreciated thing was learning more about the procedure of how to prepare and follow through a peer review process”, says Leena Maidell-Münster, Chief of Environmental Affairs. The training gave them new ideas of how to update their climate strategy with more stakeholder participation and taking climate change adaptation into account along with mitigation.

Communication and involvement
At the beginning of May, the 2nd Finnish training took place in Tampere and the focus was on communication and stakeholder involvement. In the presentations, cities were given ideas on why and how to involve different stakeholders as well as how to communicate on climate issues, both internally and to the public. Many challenges in climate communication were recognized. Additionally, good practices from Finnish Environment Institute and cities of Vantaa and Tampere were presented along with group works and discussions. The participants also took up a challenge of writing an article about the city climate work on their staff magazine during this year.

Material from the trainings is available on the Finnish hub web pages: http://www.localmanagement.eu/index.php/champ:finnish_hub

Text: Kirsi-Marja Lonkila, UBC
Foto: Stella Aaltonen

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Updates from partners

Image 11 The Covenant of Mayors and the Climate Action Plan: useful tools in the fight against climate change

On the 2nd of April, the Italian Local Agenda 21 Association organised a conference in Modena (Italy) about the available tools for European local authorities for the EU policies on climate.
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The EU Covenant of Mayors´ aim is to provide local authorities with concrete advices about setting up a sustainable energy action plan. This was also the goal of the conference that took place on the 2nd of April in Modena, organised by Coordinamento Agende 21 Locali Italiane (Italian Local Agenda 21 association), together with the City and the Province of Modena, so as to highlight the necessary actions for the set up of measures towards climate protection.

“The EU Covenant of Mayors is an initiative with a continuous and wide dissemination and it represents a fundamental strategic tool for local authorities”, stated Emanuele Burgin, President of the Association. “This is the reason why, together with ANCI (Association of Italian Municipalities) and UPI (Union of Italian Provinces), we reckon its promotion very important and this is why we are here today. Together with this, in a very short time, we will provide our members with the official translation of the Guidebook ‘How to develop a Sustainable Energy Action Plan’ from the European Commission, recently published.”

The cities’ energy consumption, and therefore emissions, are rising: this is why the cities are now considered to be the key players in the European Commission’ policies for climate change.
“We need an approach that evaluates all the possibilities of investment and the thermal capacities of the cities and the territories of all sizes, and the Climate Action Plans are with no doubt the real solution for the improvement of the energy situation even in our country”, concluded Mr Burgin.

Text: Elisabetta Mutto Accordi, Coordinamento Agende 21 Locali Italiane
Foto: Coordinamento Agende 21 Locali Italiane

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Image 13 Municipality of Padua: Towards a plan for the climate

The Municipality of Padua, one of the Italian cities involved in CHAMP, is taking exemplary action to respond to climate change.
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The city has signed the Covenant of Mayors, which has already approved its Operative Energy Plan. Padua is currently developing, in a participatory manner, an Action Plan for Sustainable Energy and Climate for the city. It is applying the results obtained within the work group “Local Agenda 21 for Kyoto” of the Italian Local Agenda 21 Association (http://www.a21italy.it/gdl.php), coordinated by the city itself.

The experience of the Municipality of Padua in the energy field contributed to the work group “Local Agenda 21 for Kyoto”, whose objectives include creating an exchange and support network for the dissemination of sustainable energy strategies and Local Climate Action Plans. The activities developed so far by the group are:

  • the analysis of the existing methodologies at the national level (PALK, Microkyoto, Rome for Kyoto) and at the international level to identify a common procedure for the calculation of CO2 emissions;
  • the elaboration of the document "Towards Copenhagen: guidelines for the calculation of CO2 reduction of local authorities" containing 21 technical data sheets for quantifiable actions (structured on the basis of indicators from TEE, ISPRA and the Energy Authority).

The involvement of Padua in the CHAMP Italian training activities is of great importance for the development of the project, due to the experience in Agenda 21 and integrated management focused on fighting climate change. Their participation in CHAMP will be very useful to test and refine the training approach and facilities developed within the project to support local authorities in fighting climate change through integrated urban management.

Contact: informambiente@comune.padova.it
Text: Patrizio Mazzetto, Daneila Luise, Chiara Beltramin - Informambiente, Settore Ambiente, Comune di Padova

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Image 15 Balatonalmádi – An Environmentally Conscious Town

Balatonalmádi, a small resort town of 9000 residents, is situated at the north-eastern end of Lake Balaton, a large freshwater lake of international importance. Clean environment and good lake water quality are prerequisites not only for the well-being of the permanent residents but also for the tourism industry, the engine of the local economy.

Environmental protection activities are coordinated by the local government but non-governmental organizations and individual citizens also have an important share. The local government has planned, managed and partially financed major projects in infrastructure development resulting in better water and air quality and improved energy efficiency. These projects include the development of the sewer system that demanded substantial resources in 1994 resulting in a sewer connection ratio that exceeds 90 % and the development of a natural gas supply system through which natural gas has become the dominant energy source.

The municipality of Balatonalmádi has a systematic approach to local environmental policy. The first municipal environmental program and waste management plan were prepared in 2003 and have been revised twice since. The local government is also planning to acquire EMAS certification in the near future.

In 2009, in order to respond to the challenges of climate change, Balatonalmádi was one of the first municipalities in Hungary that prepared a municipal Climate Change Program. This program specifies adaptation and mitigation measures including water saving techniques, improving and increasing green areas, increasing the use of renewable energy, etc.

A recently finished climate change project, a large scale rehabilitation of the town park that is under local nature protection, was financed by the Norwegian Environmental Fund and implemented by a local NGO Women for Lake Balaton. After consulting the local stakeholders, and with the assistance of Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency, the local government has prepared a feasibility study for a local „Sustainability Park” in the degraded industrial and services site of the municipality. The project is in the planning phase and it is going to include energy and water self-sufficiency through the utilization of various forms of renewable energy and best available technology for drinking water and waste water treatment.

In the past 15 years, the local government has introduced several local regulations on environmental protection, solid and liquid waste management, land and soil protection, nature preservation and noise control and it is committed to continued efforts in these fields and climate change related issues.

Text: Dr. Károly Kutics, the Municipality of Balatonalmádi.

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Series: CHAMP External advisor interview - Birgit Georgi from the European Environmental Agency (EEA)

CHAMP has a lot of expertise within the project through external advisors. In the following project newsletters, we will present our external advisors in a series of interviews. The series begins with an interview with Birgit Georgi, project manager for urban issues in European Environmental Agency.

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Q: What are you currently working on in EEA?
A: I am project manager for urban issues. We provide information and assessments of the urban environment and environmental impacts of urbanization from a European perspective. This touches all urban relevant issues, like in particular climate change and adaptation. We have, for example, conducted two EEA reports: one on urban sprawl and one on the quality of life in the cities and towns of Europe. Currently, we are writing an urban chapter for the next State of the Environment in Europe 2010 report. Furthermore, we initiated the process towards an Integrated Urban Monitoring in Europe (IUME) to integrate the different European sources of data and information regarding urban issues.

Q: Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our times and mitigation and adaptation actions are required on many levels. What is the role of EEA in connection with climate change and local authorities?
A: To me EEA’s role is to provide appropriate information as the basis for decision- and policy-making. The focus is on getting European action coherent and preparing the ground for tackling the problems jointly, as in multi-level governance. Therefore we work closely with city networks and are for example one co-host of ICLEI’s conference on Resilient Cities this year in Bonn.

Q: Do you think that climate change will have major implications for the quality of life in cities and what are the most critical actions to be taken locally in order to minimize these impacts?
A: Definitely! It’s hard to say what the most critical actions are since there are great regional differences. Some of the most critical impacts and actions are sea-level rise and flooding which require defense measures and smart urban design (e.g., no longer building into flood prone areas). Heat island effect requires good urban design with many green areas, walls and roofs. Lower soil sealing can increase the infiltration of water and help in situations of high run-offs after heavy rain falls. Dryer climate requires better water management and so on. Furthermore, population aging increases the number of vulnerable people.

Q: What kind of capacity needs to be developed that the cities have chances to take these actions?
A: There is a need for a better understanding of that very complex issue and its consequences not only among experts but also among policy-makers. There is probably not a one-fits-all solution; municipalities need to be enabled to find their own solutions in the overall context. What all municipalities need are networking capabilities as a city in most cases cannot solve the problem on itself but in the context of regional and national action.
The problem is that most problems caused by climate change appear in periods for which the current politicians are not elected and that require long-term thinking. We need long-term decisions but have short-term policy cycles and budgets.

Q: Is sectoral thinking an obstacle to climate change mitigation and adaptation on local level? What value do you think that an integrated approach to climate change can have?
A: Yes, I think so. Climate change and adaptation are complex issues which are interrelated with many other areas like energy consumption, urban transport, life styles, urban design etc. Therefore, it cannot be tackled by sectoral solutions. An integrated approach could help in overcoming barriers I mentioned earlier and in producing effective and efficient solutions. It would also make better use of synergies between different policy areas and give positive side-effects or even an important impulse to an overall more sustainable urban development.

Text and questions: Kirsi-Marja Lonkila, UBC
Foto: EEA

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From Copenhagen to Cancun: Update on international climate negotiations

The Copenhagen climate conference in December was supposed to formulate a new agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. Instead, the negotiations ended with a political declaration called the Copenhagen Accord. The deal established a goal to keep global temperature rises below 2°C but did not include binding commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Many were disappointed with the result and there are doubts if there still is momentum in the UN process.

Reaching a global agreement is not likely in the COP16 negotiations in Cancun, Mexico this year. For Cancun climate conference in November, there are no high expectations. What is wanted from the negotiations is the operational architecture on climate change, said the outgoing UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer in March to EurActiv. After this, he thinks it is possible to reach a final agreement in the negotiations in 2011. De Boer also predicted that two separate agreements might emerge in Cancun to bring together the US and developing countries. This means that the negotiations would proceed on two different tracks: the UN framework and the legally not binding Copenhagen Accord.

At the moment, the EU is committed to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 20 % by 2020 – and by 30 % provided that other developed countries commit themselves to comparable emission reduction and developing countries contribute adequately according to their responsibilities and respective capabilities. The 20 % target is seen far too modest. Furthermore, emissions dropped steeply in 2009 by 11 % due to the economic recession, making the 2020 objective even easier to attain. However, raising the target to 30 % is dividing the member countries. Western member countries such as the UK and Sweden believe that it is in Europe’s own interest to raise the target to 30 % whereas Eastern member countries as well as Finland and Italy believe the EU should observe other countries’ pledges before committing to deeper cuts.

The goal of the Copenhagen Accord is to keep global warming under 2°C and thus avoiding dangerous climate change. However, there is a huge gap between this goal and the pledges made in Copenhagen. The same is many times true in case of climate declarations and strategies on local level. The deadlock of international climate negotiations should not hinder the process of mitigating and adapting to climate change on local level. When the international, legally binding full protocol is finally reached, the cities are already one step ahead.

Sources: Bloomberg BusinessWeek , the Guardian, EurActiv , Associated Press and ICLEI LG Roadmap

Text: Kirsi-Marja Lonkila, UBC

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Publication details

Publisher: UBC Environment and Sustainable Development Secretariat, Vanha Suurtori 7, FIN-20500 Turku, Fax: +385 2 262 3425

Project contact persons:
Salminen Pekka, Project Manager
Kreutz Esther, Project Coordinator
fistname.familyname@ubc.net

Editorial team: Esther Kreutz (UBC), Pekka Salminen (UBC), Kirsi-Marja Lonkila (UBC) with support from:
Chiara Beltramin (the Municipality of Padua), Orsola Bolognani (Ambiente Italia), Zita Egerszegi (Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency), Marion Hammerl (Lake Constance Foundation), Károly Kutics (the Municipality of Balatonalmádi), Daneila Luise (the Municipality of Padua), Lotta Mattsson (AFLRA), Patrizio Mazzetto (the Municipality of Padua), Elisabetta Mutto Accordi (Coordinamento Agende 21 Locali Italiane), Holger Robrecht (ICLEI), Sven Schulz (Lake Constance Foundation).

If the author is not indicated, the texts are written by the Editorial Team.
CHAMP is part-financed by the LIFE+ programme of the European Commission, Regione Lombardia and the partners.

The newsletter reflects the authors view. The European Commission is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained in this publication.