Our Activities: International Projects
Climate Star – The Award for successful Local Authorities in the Climate Alliance
In 2016 Climate Alliance will invite member local authorities for the seventh time to apply with exemplary climate protection actions and measures for a Climate Star. The Climate Star awards outstanding activities and documents the experience and success at local level. The diversity of local strategies and measures on climate change will be highlighted.
The new closing date for applications is the 13 May 2016. The award ceremony will be held again on invitation of the Federal State of Lower Austria at 6 October 2016 in Schloss Grafenegg and will takes place in the framework of the International Annual Conference in Krems an der Donau.
Near-surface Geothermal Resources in the Territory of the Alpine Space
GRETA aims to improve the sustainable production of renewable geothermal energy in the Alpine region, thus contributing to reducing CO2 emissions. To achieve this GRETA will develop geothermal potential maps which act as a decision support tool for the integration of near-surface geothermal energy (NSGE) into policy instruments, e.g. energy plans and strategies. The maps can be used for the spatial planning of geothermal installations by public and private stakeholders. Furthermore, GRETA will elaborate guidelines to encourage the harmonization of regulations, authorization procedures and operational criteria for NSGE utilization in the Alpine region. Strategies for the inclusion of NSGE in policy instruments will also be formulated.
Further information here.
Contacts in Climate Alliance: Andreas Kress and Svenja Schuchmann
Using smart meter data, campaigns and networking to increase the capacity of public authorities to implement sustainable energy policy
The Energy Data Innovation Network (EDI-Net) will use smart energy and water meter data to accelerate the implementation of sustainable energy policy. It will do this by increasing the capacity of EU public authorities to act quickly and decisively. The capacity will be increased by the provision of just the right amount of intelligible information, by training and exchange of experiences of Public authorities and by provision of tools and support to implement and monitor their sustainable energy plans.
Further information here
The project "Political and sOcial awareness on Water EnviRonmental challenges" (POWER) launched on 1 December 2015 is financed by the European Commission. For 48 months of activities, the project will set up a user-driven Digital Social Platform (DSP) for expansion and governance of POWER existing water networks.
POWER is an European Innovation Partnership on Water-related project pioneering the DSP approach to share the knowledge and experience of water scarcity, security, quality and water consumption-related issues in different EU local authorities, thus creating an important tool for EU water policy.
POWER consortium comprises a total of 12 Partners, including 4 research institutions dealing with environmental, social and governance issues, 2 innovation SMEs, 2 European organisations, 4 key demonstration cities.
CITYnvest: “Increasing Capacities in Cities for Innovative Financing in Energy Efficiency”
The main goal of CITYnvest, coordinated by Climate Alliance, is to support and replicate innovative financing models for energy efficiency in buildings, such as energy performance contracting, cooperative models and revolving funds. The project will see the implementation of new business models in three pilot regions in Belgium (Province of Liège), Bulgaria (Rhodope) and Spain (Murcia). A large-scale capacity-building programme will be carried out in ten EU Member States (IT, ES, BG, BE, LT, LV, RO, HU, AT, SK) along with the development of long-term roadmaps, based on national contexts. CITYnvest provides practical step-by-step guidance for local and regional authorities on implementing long-term financing solutions. It will disseminate these currently still under-utilized financing models and enable project bundling by mobilising the entire value chain and decision makers in city departments, ESCOs, the financial sector. www.CITYnvest.eu | info(at)CITYnvest.eu.
Contacts at Climate Alliance: Elise Steyaert, Lea Kleinenkuhnen, Fabienne Franke, Pirita Lindholm
"EYD2015: The future we want – Local Authorities for Sustainable Development"
A good life for all – How to reach a good life for all in a sustainable way? Climate Alliance’s project, EYD2015: The future we want – Local Authorities for Sustainable Development, focuses on the European Year for Development 2015 (EYD2015) and serves to heighten citizens' awareness of development issues as well as promote active engagement with major development debates. Via the project, the 16 project partners from 10 European countries, will give citizens and politicians a deeper understanding of global interdependencies by calling into question European overconsumption of natural resources and showing the way toward more responsible and globally fair consumption habits.
To reach these goals, the project focuses on two main activities during the three years. The first is the Europe-wide awareness raising campaign "A good life is simple", developed by the project consortium, which showcases positive examples to follow in daily life. The second main activity will bring indigenous "counsellors" to Europe, making use of their wisdom to evaluate pressing European challenges. How can we translate their knowledge into our life and culture and how can this translate this into concrete recommendations towards national and European policy makers?
Your contact at Climate Alliance:
TANDEM: Franco-German climate partnerships
Many German and French local authorities are – partially for many years – in close dialogue through their twinning arrangement, cross-border cooperation or EU projects. Energy transition and climate action are topics that are currently high on the agenda at local level and municipalities of both countries encounter the same challenges. With the TANDEM project, Climate Alliance wants to support German and French municipalities in building up or deepening thematic partnerships and in the development of joint climate protection projects.
Crowdfunding platforms and cooperatives both enable individuals to directly invest in sustainable energy, but it is difficult to get an overview of the possibilities. Citizenergy changes all this. Made possible by European Union funding, Citizenergy is the first platform to encourage cross-border investment in sustainable energy and the first to provide information on sustainable energy opportunities from both crowdfunding platforms and cooperatives. It reinforces the work of such organisations in financing renewable and energy efficiency projects, increasing their reach while promoting transparency. The Tripadvisor of our sustainable energy landscape, Citizenergy is a valuable resource for individuals looking to get involved in the energy revolution.
Green ProcA – Green Public Procurement in Action
The ProcA project aims to implement the goals of energy efficiency and green public procurement (GPP) as defined in many sustainable energy action plans (SEAP). ProcA advocates the integration of GPP into SEAPs and speeds implementation by enhancing the efficiency of purchasing organisations – through capacity building and networking activities, which help boost understanding for green procurement and directly promote flagship projects. Awareness should also be raised through national and European GPP awards.
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).
Local Authorities acting for the MDGs: Europe for more development
The EU project will contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. It should help to better integrate development issues into the work of local authorities. Together with the cities of Munich (DE), Nuremberg (DE), Tirgu Mures (RO), Ostopovice (CZ), Nagykanizsa (HU) and the long-term partners Action Solidarité Tiers Monde / Climate Alliance Luxembourg, Climate Alliance Austria, Reflex Hungary and other partner organizations from Romania and the Czech Republic Climate Alliance (European Secretariat) will develop a wide range of materials and activities both for decision makers and citizens.
From Overconsumption to Solidarity
Central to the project financed by EuropeAid is the exhibition "Victims of Climate Change" (working title), which will give the worldwide climate change "a face". People from around the world will report on their current and future challenges and appeal to the responsibility of each individual. Around the exhibition, which will be available in different languages, the member municipalities will be offered a package of activities, such as Training for decision makers and administration, seminars, films, art actions, theatre, etc. Solidarité Tiers Monde (LU) is the lead organization and the further project partners are Climate Alliance (European Office), Climate Alliance (AT), Védegylet Egyesület (HU), Nadace Partnerstvi (CZ), Priatelia Zeme-CEPA (SK) and crossing borders (DK).
The project 100%-RES-Communities aimed for experimenting and developing a model of joint Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs). The SEAPs have been 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 action aimed at developing a model of joint SEAPs elaboration in rural territories and towns. Capacity building activities have be established together with a mentoring and coaching approach to assist learning territories to develop their joint SEAPs. Simultaneously the experienced territories evaluated and revised their SEAPs in order to improve them. At the same time the RES Champions League, a positive competition between European cities, towns and villages based on renewable energies started in a previous project, has been continued.
The project dealed with issues of municipal climate mitigation and adaptation to climate change with a particular emphasis on the Alpine region. The project addressed 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 has been developed. Also trainings for local authorities have been offered.
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.
- Remining Lowex Training: Method (pdf, 2.2 MB)
- Remining Lowex Training: Technology (pdf, 3.6 MB)
- Remining Lowex Heating and Cooling with Minewater - A Guidebook for Decision Makers
(pdf, 4.3 MB)
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 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.
Municipalities and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
The EU-funded project encouraged networking among the municipalities in Europe, who had committed to attainment of the MDGs. The project was coordinated by the city of Bonn. Partners included Bonn’s partner cities of Oxford and Potsdam in addition to Villach (AT), Nagykanizsa (HU), the European Secretariat of Climate Alliance, Climate Alliance Austria, and Reflex (HU).
As a complement to the MDGs, Climate Alliance was 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. These goals address the use of resources by 20 % of the global population, which is responsible for the consumption of 80 % of resources.
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 sought to encourage national networking among the signatories. Thus a total of twelve national platforms – in Italy, Austria and Germany, among other countries – had been created, which focused on the exchange of political and specialist knowledge for realisation of the Covenant aims.
The aim of the IEE project launched in May 2011 was 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 united nine organisations from Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain, and ended in 2013.
Town twinning for climate change mitigation - Georgia and Germany
The project promoted the exchange between Georgian and German municipalities in the area of climate change mitigation, by activating existing relationships for climate change mitigation and /or by establishing new contacts in order to initiate a long lasting collaboration. Centrepiece of the project was the conference “Town-twinning for Climate Protection – Georgia and Germany” on the 13 and 14th February in Batumi, Georgia. The project was co-funded by the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and the Federal Environmental Agency.
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.
The "POLIS – Identification and mobilisation of Solar POtentials via Local strategies" IEE project supported strategic solar-oriented urban development. The potential of European cities for solar energy usage had been mobilised through the cooperation of several cities committed to solar planning (Lisbon, Lyons, Paris, Malmö, Munich and Vitoria-Gasteiz). Climate Alliance was responsible for the compilation of a variety of planning tools in the final phase of this project, which was due to end in August 2012 after a 3-year period. Climate Alliance had also drawn up guidelines in several languages summarising the project outcomes and featuring general recommendations for action.
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 was 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.
Within this project, Climate Alliance led 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 was provided to local governments - from pioneers to beginners, from decision-makers to municipal staff. It included 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.
In 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 was 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 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 training with options for political decision makers to support RES and increase 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 respective policy processes constituted a core group.
The project, supported by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme, promoted 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.