Blog

Exploring informal sustainable mobility for East African cities
May 20, 2019
Motorcycle taxis, known as boda-bodas, are a common sight in East Africa. While they serve as an accessible transport option for many urban residents, they also pose serious safety concerns and management challenges. However, new ideas and technologies have the potential to make boda-bodas a part of sustainable mobility systems in African cities. Boda-bodas operate 

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Biodiversity in cities: How natural asset mapping helps cities protect livelihoods and address climate change impacts
May 7, 2019
With the release of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) global assessment, it is increasingly clear that biodiversity and natural ecosystems play a crucial role in maintaining the health of the planet, particularly in the face of climate change. The natural environment provides many valuable and free services that contribute directly 

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Want to step up climate action in your city? Invest in your staff
April 17, 2019
Although they pave the way for national and international financial support, sophisticated emissions inventories are often the domain of the richest and most powerful cities. In other words, strong inventories often come from those with the resources to hire staff or pay third-party consultants to prepare those inventories. This perpetuates a difficult cycle: national and 

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How industrial legacy cities are advancing sustainable mobility transitions through green fleet management
March 7, 2019
By Rebecca Wessinghage, Transition Concepts Officer, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. This article also appears on the Urban Transitions Alliance website. Industrial legacy cities often have a history of quick population growth, urban sprawl and single-purpose urban planning. These factors have led to development trajectories that separated industrial districts from residential districts, creating car-centric 

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7 ICLEI Member cities make Nikkei's list of “top 10 SDGs cities”
February 14, 2019
Many Japanese municipalities have been actively engaged with the realization of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a local level, working them explicitly into their urban development plans and other aspects of the public sector. In response to this growing commitment, the Nikkei Newspaper Industry Area Research Institute recently conducted what it called 

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ICLEI World Congress 2021: Call for bids
February 13, 2019
Every three years, ICLEI convenes the ICLEI World Congress for its Members in order to give them the opportunity to share and discover the latest strategies for sustainable development. Additionally, the ICLEI World Congress serves as the network’s key event for both recognizing the achievements of its Members and for laying out the organization’s strategy 

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Synchronize your calendar with ICLEI and LGMA events
February 11, 2019
Keep important events for ICLEI and the LGMA constituency, along with strategic and educational opportunities, right in your calendar! As of February 2019, the ICLEI World Secretariat is now maintaining a global events list that highlights political events (such as UNFCCC meetings), webinars (from our Advocacy team and more), and conferences that contribute to the 

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CDP and ICLEI: Introducing streamlined climate reporting
February 11, 2019
Authors: Maryke van Staden, Director, Bonn Center for Local Climate Action and Reporting at ICLEI and Kyra Appleby, Global Director, Cities, States and Regions at CDP   Providing services for communities, protecting citizens and building better places to live, work and do business are the core priorities of local and regional governments everywhere. Climate action and 

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Stockholm Pursues Climate Holy Grail: a Fossil Fuel-Free Future — Part 5: New Eco-Districts
January 23, 2019
How virtually all of Stockholm’s clean energy and sustainability measures have been deployed to create two of the city’s most remarkable eco-districts. By John J. Berger, PhD, an energy and environmental policy specialist based in the San Francisco Bay Area.   Hammarby Sjöstad and Stockholm Royal Seaport Stockholm Royal Seaport is known in the city as 

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300+ Policies that promote circular development
January 21, 2019
According to a recent report of Circle Economy, our world is currently 9% circular, meaning that current production systems rely 91% on extracted resources, most of which end up being discarded as waste, lost to the global economy and degrading the global environment as pollutants. The report further shows that extraction, processing and production globally account 

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What the Japanese model for circular economy teaches us about building them at scale
January 21, 2019
The Regional and Circular Ecological Sphere, introduced by the Government of Japan, provides a framework for cities and regions to plan out green, circular economies that work as efficiently as possible. The concept of the circular economy is key for the future of sustainable development. Its core premise is to decouple economic activity from the 

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Photoblog: The 2018 African Green Growth Forum
December 31, 2018
Above, the event hosts: Coletha Ruhamya, Director General, Rwanda Environmental Management Authority – Marie-Chantal Rwakazina, Mayor of City of Kigali – Mohamed Imam Bakarr, Lead Environment Specialist, Global Environment Facility “From the children of my country to the children of yours. We are one planetary village and we must all share the challenges.” — The Director 

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COP24: Multilateral success in the face of adversity
December 20, 2018
The international climate negotiations have never been perfectly smooth: political challenges at the national and global level, the shifting priorities of host countries and attendees and the logistical hurdle of creating an all-inclusive framework for tackling climate change have posedserious challenges. COP24 was expected to be among the most difficult conferences in the history of 

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Why 2019 is the year for sustainable mobility
December 17, 2018
As the world continues to urbanize, the need to improve transportation in and around cities is becoming increasingly urgent. Though typically framed as an economic problem — stalls in traffic correlate to stalls in productivity — sustainability leaders are beginning to pay more attention to transportation as an important instrument for promoting social and economic 

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Stockholm pursues climate holy grail: a fossil fuel-free future — Part 4: Transforming transportation
December 14, 2018
By John J. Berger, PhD, an energy and environmental policy specialist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. To achieve its paramount goal of being fossil-fuel free in 2050, Stockholm will need to eliminate about two million tons of greenhouse gas emissions by then—a drop of over 80 percent. Fortunately, Stockholm’s efforts are occurring in a 

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New report - Multilevel climate action: The path to 1.5 degrees
December 5, 2018
ICLEI just released Multilevel climate action: The path to 1.5 degrees, our 2018 analysis of data from the carbonn Climate Registry. This post captures the key findings. For more, read the full report here. — The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C, released in October 2018, is unequivocal on a few key fronts: first, human activities 

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Mayors of Katowice and Bonn: Our call for deep transformation and greater ambition at COP24
November 29, 2018
By Ashok Sridharan, Mayor of Bonn and President of ICLEI and Marcin Krupa, Mayor of Katowice and member of the the ICLEI Urban Transitions Alliance                         Next month, we will join nations in Katowice, Poland for COP24, the 24th United Nations Climate Change Conference. 

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ICLEI, GCoM and Argentina: Why globalized emissions reporting empowers climate action
November 25, 2018
To take ambitious climate action, it’s essential that local, regional and national governments have access to good information about the sources of their emissions. Strong reporting mechanisms allow all levels of government to identify sectors where the highest-impact, lowest-cost climate interventions can be deployed. They also allow for knowledge sharing, well-informed budget plans and ultimately, 

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Nature in the Urban Century: Cities can offer solutions for biodiversity loss – if we act now
November 14, 2018
By Rob McDonald, Lead Scientist for Global Cities, The Nature Conservancy This century will be remembered as the urban century. Our generation will witness the most significant urban growth in human history. By 2050, there will be 2.4 billion more people in cities, a rate of urban growth that is the equivalent of building a 

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Lessons in sustainability from India's past: Changing the nature of agricultural practices
October 31, 2018
The agricultural sector occupies a significant place in India’s economy, contributing 15 percent of the country’s GDP and employing 47 percent of its labor. It is also extremely sensitive to climate change, with estimates suggesting that climate shifts have already cost India 1.5 percent of its GDP. Unfortunately,  agriculture itself is also a major source 

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Why smart mobility needs a reality check
October 30, 2018
by Julian Dörr, Assistant, Smart Cities, ICLEI – Local Government for Sustainability _ The highly mobile lifestyles seen in cities today have become an increasingly complex headache for local governments worldwide to handle. Many cities struggle with greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and traffic congestion. With the highly anticipated and impending arrival of smart mobility, 

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Confronting the energy burden – Achieving energy equity for low-income communities
September 24, 2018
by Hannah Rothschild, City-Business Collaboration Officer, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability To learn more about the Urban Transitions Alliance visit www.urbantransitions.org _ Cities in the Urban Transitions Alliance are moving away from their industrial energy-intensive heritage and setting ambitious energy efficiency targets. A broad range of projects and programs have spearheaded sustainability efforts, reduced 

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New York moves to divest: Case study from the largest municipal pension fund in the United States
September 11, 2018
New York City is standing up for future generations by becoming the first major U.S. city to divest our pension funds from fossil fuels. At the same time, we’re bringing the fight against climate change straight to the fossil fuel companies that knew about its effects and intentionally misled the public to protect their profits. 

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Four steps to climate neutrality
September 11, 2018
Cities across the world are committing to climate neutrality and taking bold action to get there. Reykjavík, Iceland is using geothermal energy to achieve its 2040 neutrality target, New York City is divesting from fossil fuels and the Australian Capital Territory intends to hit 100 percent renewable electricity by 2020. The Paris Agreement aims for 

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Local and regional governments are driving the global transition to renewable energy
September 11, 2018
Cities consume about 75 percent of global primary energy, making it crucial that local and regional governments work alongside nations, businesses and civil society to drive the renewable energy transition . This will not only slash global greenhouse gas emissions but also improve energy security in urban areas worldwide. Local and regional governments around the 

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How can climate action find USD 480 billion?
September 6, 2018
At first glance, building the world’s sustainable infrastructure looks dauntingly expensive. There are, for example, figures like the one written by the International Institute of Applied Statistical Analysis: “To meet countries’ NDCs”, writes the IIASA, “an additional US$130 billion of investment will be needed by 2030, while to achieve the 2°C target the gap is 

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9 cities that lead on nature-based development
September 5, 2018
The health of natural ecosystems is crucial to the health of cities and urban populations. From essential services like water purification, flood control and climate regulation to a range of physical and mental health benefits, societies thrive by building a strong connection to nature. Biodiversity loss and ecosystem changes are a reality in our urban 

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Getting urbanization right: achieving the SDGs
July 17, 2018
“If we are to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, end extreme poverty, protect the planet, and ensure peace and prosperity for everyone, we must strengthen collective effort to get urbanization right.” – Maimunah Sharif, Executive Director of UN Habitat   Sharif made this statement to the assembled leaders of the High Level Political Forum 

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Cities lead on climate with nature's help
July 2, 2018
By Laura Huffman, Texas Regional Director, The Nature Conservancy   Cities get things done at the right scale: the human scale. They have the pace and vigor to turn momentum into action, connecting locally to move the needle globally on a host of issues. When the U.S. government withdrew from the Paris Agreement, the response from 

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Your guide to global urban transformation: Top 3 ICLEI World Congress 2018 takeaways
June 27, 2018
The ICLEI World Congress 2018 in Montréal brought together more than 1,000 people with one unifying question in mind: How do we build a sustainable urban world? With 177 cities and regions and more than 120 political leaders in the room, from Warsaw, Poland to Phuentsholing, Bhutan and from Honiara City, Solomon Islands to Cape 

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The ICLEI Montréal Commitment in action
June 27, 2018
The ICLEI World Congress 2018 brought new energy and momentum to sustainable urban development. ICLEI and partners announced new initiatives and strengthened partnership to kick start implementation of the ICLEI Montréal Commitment and Strategic Vision. Here are some of the key announcements from the ICLEI World Congress 2018 to watch: The UN Environment Principles for Sustainable 

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“We have to take our citizens with us.” Cities talk SDGs and citizen engagement
June 22, 2018
SDG 11 is the central lever to attain all of the 17 goals outlined in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Cities are a connection point for a multiplicity of development challenges, and through integrated solutions, create opportunities for hitting on the many facets of the global sustainability agenda, from climate action to reduced inequalities. Naturally, 

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Gender equality starts at the top: Women in municipal leadership
June 22, 2018
When Mayor Célestine Ketcha épouse Courtès spoke at the ICLEI World Congress 2018, she painted a picture of what climate change means women in her native country, Cameroon. When droughts come, she said, and villagers need to travel to collect water, it is not the men who do the walking. It is the women who bring it 

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Inclusion and reconciliation: Indigenous Peoples and sustainability in our cities
June 22, 2018
It is not every day that we take the time to think about the land we stand on or how our cities came to be. But there is always a history behind the urban spaces in which we live, work and play. Many major Canadian cities are situated on lands long tied to Indigenous Peoples. 

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