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ICLEI USA applauds the ambitious U.S. 2030 climate goal developed through strong multilevel collaboration. It is time to turn this opportunity into a new normal in every country towards COP26.
April 22, 2021
ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA applauds the Biden administration for announcing the U.S.’ second nationally determined contribution (NDC) submission to the Paris Climate Agreement, which aims at 50 to 52 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels within the next nine years. This target responds directly to leadership calls from mayors, county executives, 

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Cities join the Race to Zero around the world to strengthen national goals
April 20, 2021
ICLEI US launches the ICLEI150 Race to Zero On the occasion of Earth Week and the U.S. Climate Leaders Summit, 21 city and county leaders in the United States launched the ICLEI150 Race to Zero. This initiative represents an effort to significantly advance local carbon neutrality efforts in the United States and demonstrate U.S. leadership 

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From ICLEI World Congress to COP26: Cities like Glasgow and Bonn push for transformative change
April 20, 2021
If there was a common storyline at last week’s ICLEI World Congress, it was that local politicians are pushing hard on multiple fronts to enact positive change, often with more aggressive targets than their peers at the national level. Targets however, that require at least some degree of federal funding in order to come to 

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Moving from planning to action. How ICLEI is helping to accelerate the transition to net zero
April 19, 2021
“ICLEI has been tackling climate change for more than 30 years and when we started, it was certainly not a hot topic, but today it is a critical topic and it is literally life defining for many people,” observed Maryke van Staden at last week’s ICLEI World Congress 2021-22. She went on to note that 

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Leave no one behind: ICLEI World Congress focuses on people-centered development
April 14, 2021
The first day of the ICLEI World Congress 2021 – 2022 closed with a discussion on “Equitably Shaping Our Sustainable Urban Future.” Representatives from local governments from around the world shared their experiences through ongoing initiatives to create an equitable sustainable development framework that is inclusive for all.  Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor of Malmö, Sweden, 

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New ICLEI leadership recommit to integrated sustainable development
April 14, 2021
At the opening of the ICLEI World Congress 2021 – 2022 Virtual Launch, ICLEI’s newly elected leadership came out in force to show their commitment to nature-based, circular, resilient, low emission and equitable development.  Facing the on-going global pandemic, ICLEI leaders kicked-off the ICLEI World Congress 2021 – 2022 with an all-digital event. Katrin Stjernfeldt 

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Local governments are poised for a bigger role in protecting nature.  Is your city on board?
April 13, 2021
“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
April 6, 2021
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?
March 24, 2021
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
March 23, 2021
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
March 10, 2021
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
March 9, 2021
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
March 1, 2021
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
February 22, 2021
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
February 19, 2021
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
January 20, 2021
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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Sustainability officers respond to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis with renewed determination
January 20, 2021
This piece originally appeared in Cities Today. In Turku, Finland, sustainability meetings and events have gone virtual, reaching much larger audiences. The City of uMhlathuze, South Africa, has developed a programme to promote more home-based businesses. Oakland in the United States has established a new food systems ordinance to encourage more urban gardens. Far from 

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Top 3 Daring Cities 2020 outcomes
December 17, 2020
When ICLEI and our partners in the Federal City of Bonn and the German government began formulating a way to build on the 10-year legacy of the Resilient Cities Congress series, we were conceiving an event that could speak to, and serve, the decade before us – humanity’s best chance of preserving a livable future 

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Tackling climate change and COVID-19 at the local level in Africa
December 8, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected the work of national, regional, and local governments. Many countries around the world have imposed lockdowns and physical distancing measures while preparing massive economic relief packages. In several places in Africa, however, hand washing alone has been a critical challenge. Shortages of water, soap, nutritious food, and hospital equipment 

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Tackling sustainability, food, and social inequalities: A roadmap from industrial legacy cities
December 7, 2020
For cities with an industrial past that have undergone major transitions away from heavy industry as their economies have shifted, food insecurity has become a dire problem. Prolonged periods of disinvestment common to former blue-collar neighborhoods often means that food insecurity is more prevalent in these areas. But through their urban transitions, these cities are 

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Why we need circular food systems and what cities can do about it
December 7, 2020
Global food systems account for a third of total GHG emissions and drive environmental degradation and socio-economic inequalities all along the value chain. The resilience of current food systems is also increasingly challenged by environmental, climate and health crises.  Linear food systems are failing people and the planet Our current linear food systems rely heavily 

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Envisioning a new Daxi through EcoLogistics
December 3, 2020
Could traditional last-mile logistics finally be undergoing a much needed transformation? The way goods and services arrive at the people’s doors has never been more important. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, e-commerce was on the rise and so were demands for greater levels of service and convenience from consumers. However, such demands come at 

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Daring Cities 2020: Top 5 most popular thematic sessions
November 24, 2020
A first-of-its kind virtual event, Daring Cities 2020 positioned itself as the global forum for urban leaders taking action on the climate emergency. With 100 sessions and more than 200 hours of online discussions designed with urban leaders in mind, the event unfolded over the span of three weeks. The four plenary days at the 

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The crucial role of local governments in South Korea’s bold actions towards carbon neutrality by 2050
November 19, 2020
On 5 June 2020, World Environment Day, 226 local governments in South Korea gathered at the national assembly to declare a climate emergency. One month later, on 7 July 2020, 80 sub-national governments (17 provincial and 63 local governments) launched the Korean Local Governments’ Action Alliance for Carbon-Neutrality and urged nation-wide action for carbon neutrality 

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Tracking progress en route from Madrid to Glasgow
November 18, 2020
In a parallel universe, we would be gathered this week in Glasgow for COP26, but instead we are facing a global pandemic that has disrupted life as we know it around the world. In the face of this challenge, we are forced to reimagine and redesign a new and healthier future for communities around the 

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Key learnings for cities to enable 1.5-Degree Lifestyles
November 2, 2020
“In Japan, acting on household consumption is key as it is estimated to drive up to 60 percent of national emissions” said Dr. Satoshi Kojima San of IGES at the Daring Cities session 1.5-Degree Living through Circular Development. Japan recently committed to become carbon neutral by 2050 and is putting the circular economy at the 

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Daring Cities closing balances bold initiatives with challenges that lie ahead
October 29, 2020
Inspiring city initiatives in the fight against climate change have sprung up around the world, from the conversion of former landfill sites into wetlands in Buenos Aires, to Delhi closing its most polluting power plant, to Guangzhou electrifying its entire bus network. At the same time, questions linger over why cities like Lagos or Dakar 

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Cities rally around nature in the quest to become more resilient
October 28, 2020
In Montreal, they’re building Canada’s largest urban park. Once complete, the 8,000-hectare nature sanctuary will be eight times as large as New York’s Central Park.  In Bonn, green roofs are now mandatory for any surface larger than 200 square metres.  And 100 cities across Europe are currently involved in over 1,000 nature-based best practice solutions 

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In response to COVID-19, cities focus on nature and innovation to ensure a green recovery
October 26, 2020
“We are now facing two global crises, the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. Post-COVID-19 recovery should not mark the return to a conventional society, but rather, the shift to a more sustainable and resilient society by redesigning our socio-economic system.” This was the opening statement from H.E. Koizumi Shinjiro, the Minister of Environment of Japan 

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Financing a post COVID-19 economy that’s green and inclusive
October 23, 2020
Cities are bearing the brunt of the combined effects of global warming and COVID-19. And far too many are contending with everything from limited health care systems to inadequate water sanitation services and transport systems to having enough space for public recreation and social distancing.  “These challenges are magnified in poorer communities where the pandemic 

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Methods and myths of sustainable development
October 19, 2020
Sustainable isn’t attainable when it comes to urban development and growth. Or at least that’s the prevailing perception many naysayers have, said Carolina Schmidt, Chile’s Minister of Environment  during the recent TEDxDaringCities session entitled: Embedding Climate Neutrality Ambition Through Sustainable Development.  Citing figures from the World Bank, Schmidt said that investing $40 billion USD in 

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With goal of becoming world’s first climate resilient country, Dominica inspires cities to better prepare for extreme weather conditions
October 19, 2020
Three years ago, the Caribbean island of Dominica was battered by Hurricane Maria’s winds of up to 250 km. Now, the island nation has announced plans to become the world’s first climate resilient country by 2030.  In the wake of that announcement, Dominica spokesperson Francine Baron took time to expand on the drive behind her 

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EcoLogistics’ big challenge: Reduce emissions, congestion, noise and deaths associated with urban transport while improving social equity
October 19, 2020
Create quieter delivery solutions. Declutter the roads and make them safer. Deliver goods more efficiently. Fast-track the development of alternative fuel technologies. Those were just some of the solutions Daring Cities’ presenters pondered, during two sessions on EcoLogistics last week: the first focusing on how to achieve lower carbon emissions in the transport sector; the 

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TEDxDaringCities opening showcases real local action while imagining a zero carbon future
October 16, 2020
The climate emergency is happening right now, in our cities, towns and regions around the world. But what if we have all the solutions and political will we need already within our grasp? The global initiative Countdown, a unique collaboration powered by TED and Future Stewards, and supported by a huge array of partners, including 

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