Panorama v. Stadthaus-Dach

Cities in Action: Bonn’s Participatory Approach to a Low Carbon Future

Bonn houses the headquarters of the United Nations Climate Secretariat, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, and the carbonn Cities Climate Registry. In addition, the city is actively contributing to both climate change mitigation and adaptation by means of an Integrated Climate Protection Plan that will significantly reduce local GHG emissions by 2020. This Plan includes networking with local stakeholders through workshops, expert talks and a civil society advisory committee.

The modular concept involves five main strategies:

  1. Systematic adaptation of the city’s energy and GHG balance
  2. Sector-specific breakdown of energy-saving potential and the development of scenarios
  3. Initiation of a participatory process for the development of adaptation measures
  4. Compilation of a catalogue of measures
  5. Advocacy and community outreach

As a result of these strategies, it is expected that the GHG balance will be cut by approximately 28 percent.

The Integrated Climate Protection Plan underpins the systematic development of processes related to climate protection in Bonn. The development of the Plan has revealed, however, that the target of cutting GHG emissions by 40 percent by 2020, as laid down in the Master Plan on Energy Transformation and Climate Protection, cannot be met by local governmental actions and resources alone. Considerable GHG reductions will be achieved only through cooperative efforts at EU, national, state, and municipal levels.

Furthermore, climate protection measures must be accepted by the general public, businesses, and other stakeholders, so that it becomes an integral part of the culture and the economy. One successful example of such outreach is the “Ready for Change?” campaign, which is inviting local citizens to obtain information and get involved in climate protection in Bonn.

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Photo © Michael Sondermann