Opinions, ideas and knowledge you can apply to local and regional sustainable development.

Explore this blog to learn from local leaders, municipal staff and experts from around the world.

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How Copenhagen plans to become the world’s first carbon neutral capital

Ambitious cities around the world are setting their sights on becoming carbon neutral. This means that, after measuring their carbon emissions, they reduce those emissions as much as is cost effectively possible, and use equivalent offsets to balance the residual emissions and achieve a net zero carbon footprint. Copenhagen is one of those ambitious cities. 

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Dunedin, New Zealand has divested from fossil fuels – here is why and how

This blog post was written by Ana Marques, Low Carbon Cities Senior Officer at ICLEI World Secretariat. In April 2015, Councilor Jinty MacTavish of Dunedin, New Zealand made a compelling presentation on fossil fuel divestment at the ICLEI World Congress in Seoul. Since then, Dunedin has finalized a policy on ethical investments and divested from 

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Letter from Gino Van Begin – January

Dear ICLEI friends and colleagues, Local and subnational governments have proven to be a reliable force for positive global change. Now, in 2017, it is vital that we push to make the trend towards sustainable development irreversible. We aim to do so through our actions on the ground, efforts to shape global policy and events 

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Photo credit: Ken Geiger/The Nature Conservancy

Protecting our water sources brings a wealth of benefits

By Andrea Erickson, Managing Director, Water Security The journey of our water from source to tap is long, and not one we think much about. For most of us, our water starts high in the mountains, hundreds of miles away. From there, water flows across natural and working lands until a portion is channeled to 

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Solid waste management in Matale, Sri Lanka: a key to unlocking sustainable urban development

As the world rapidly urbanizes, city governments are preparing to manage the increasing volumes of solid waste generated by inhabitants. Ten years ago, cities were collectively managing around 0.7 billion tons of waste each year – a figure projected to grow to 2.2 billion tons by 2025 as the urban population and per capita waste 

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Building the architecture for inclusive and ambitious climate action

A focus on action at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP22, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco, was the first Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change following the adoption and swift ratification of the Paris Agreement. It was a COP of action and 

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Local climate action: what it looks like and how to advance it through collaboration

Local and subnational governments have an important role to play in supporting implementation of the Paris Agreement, and are already taking action. Their contributions to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions are critical, particularly given that national climate commitments are not yet on track to achieve the Paris Agreement targets. In fact, recent analyses by the United 

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Solar bridge, Bonn, Germany

Why are cities setting 100% renewable energy targets?

Over the last decades cities, towns and regions in different continents and of different sizes have been setting ambitious renewable energy (RE) targets that help driving the transition towards a sustainable and renewable energy future while delivering multiple benefits to the local communities. Adopting RE targets helps local governments legitimize the further allocation of resources 

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Cities are making a difference in the transition to renewable energy

With the Paris Agreement, world leaders have mandated net zero greenhouse gas emissions to be reached in the second half of this century.  This requires an unprecedented transformation and full de-carbonization of the energy systems within the next few decades. Cities are contributing to the transition to a renewable, safe, resilient and sustainable energy future 

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Leon explained that committing to resilience building is easy. What counts is using indicators to subsequently measure progress. The City of Quito is backing up its commitments with clear indicators and a vulnerability index that is scaled down to a parish level.

Shifting towards resilient urban development

The Paris Agreement establishes a clear goal: to keep the global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius, with the intent to pursue a 1.5-degree target. However, the national climate commitments submitted under the Paris Agreement do not yet put us on track to achieve this goal. In fact, with current national commitments, the world 

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