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.

Local governments are poised for a bigger role in protecting nature. Is your city on board?

“Humanity’s relationship with nature is broken.” That’s the unsettling observation UN Secretary General António Guterres made in a recent speech that Kobie Brand says helps keep things in perspective for her in her capacity as Global Director of the ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center. “He said that we are in a crisis… and the defining issue 

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Malmö, Sweden: A testing ground for integrated sustainable solutions

The former industrial shipyard Western Harbour boasts a heavy concentration of green roofs and a heat pump plant that provides residents with heating and cooling. The neighbourhood of Augustenborg is known for its focus on climate adaptation and social and green regeneration initiatives. Hyllie for its smart energy solutions, Sege Park for its sharing economy, 

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Integrating circularity into plastic waste management – a win-win?

We have all heard that when it comes to the climate crisis, cities are both the problem and the solution – and the same is true for the daunting challenge of plastic pollution. Globally, cities are dealing with the impacts of plastic pollution – both to aquatic life and to terrestrial ecosystems – while trying 

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Youth from Turku, Yokohama and Nagano join forces to call for a 1.5-Degree Life

Consumption-based emissions—the so-called indirect emissions associated with food choices, travel habits, supply chains and many more activities that keep cities running but are not directly tied to local production—are proving to be the blind spot of current mitigation efforts. Cities eager to target consumption-based emissions should focus on the transition to sustainable lifestyles at the 

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Betting on Multilevel Climate Action for COP26 in Glasgow

On 17-18 March 2021, the Ministry of Environment of Japan will convene the Zero Carbon City International Forum, which has been recognized as 2021’s first global dialogue to advance multilevel action under the Paris Agreement. This dialogue is convened in collaboration with the UN Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC), the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), 

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How two cities in Metro Manila are accelerating energy efficiency

In Metro Manila year round, the average high temperature never drops below 30°C, and cooling is a significant part of the energy bill for families, businesses and municipal governments across the region. But by setting the thermostat to 25°C, rather than 23°C, an average family can save PHP 1,800 (nearly 40 USD) per year.  That’s 

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Framing the future of urban resilience: An interview with Resilient Development Head Nazmul Huq

Ten years ago, ICLEI launched the first Resilient Cities Congress to respond to a growing and largely unaddressed need of local and regional governments to plan for the uncertain impacts of climate change in an integrated manner. Since then, resilience has gone from a fringe topic to a mainstream climate policy approach at all levels. 

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Listen to the people: Addressing inequality in Glasgow from the ground up

What if Glasgow had less puddles?  Imagine being a child living in a rainy city and you only have two pairs of shoes – your school shoes, and your play shoes. If the play shoes get wet, you can’t go out to play. Would that make you feel angry? Sad? Would it make you want 

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Prioritizing equity in local climate action: An equity framework from industrial legacy cities

In the past years, citizen-led activism around the Fridays for Future movement and other climate justice groups have succeeded to make themselves heard, generate political momentum and mainstream climate change awareness across the broader population. Some local governments have answered these calls for action by declaring climate emergency in their cities and towns, often paired 

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Five things the Biden-Harris Administration could do to use the strength of cities to help meet the Paris Goals

Written by Angie Fyfe, Director of ICLEI USA, and Yunus Arikan, ICLEI’s Director of Global Advocacy When his inauguration as the forty-sixth President of the United States is complete, Joe Biden will reenter the U.S. into the Paris Climate Agreement. This action will create positive momentum around the world and align the world’s biggest economies 

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