Blog

The glorious past returns: How Essen is harnessing its industrial legacy to accelerate sustainability
December 12, 2019
At the height of the industrial revolution, Essen was a hub of innovation, technological developments and new ideas. Change is still engrained in its identity, but now the city is leveraging its former industrial glory to achieve new transition goals. The German city is pioneering a path that builds on its history to implement strategies 

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Turku’s advice on circularity? Imagine the possibilities. Then get started.
December 11, 2019
Turku, Finland, which is an active member of ICLEI’s Green Circular Cities Coalition, was a leading player in sessions dedicated to circularity over the past two days at COP25. And rightfully so. After committing to becoming carbon neutral by 2040 at the Paris Summit in 2015, the city has since challenged itself with an even 

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With shale companies threatening, Alliance more important than ever for Pittsburgh
December 10, 2019
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto (second right) shares with the audience that regardless of what is decided at the federal level, implementation of SDG’s comes down to the local level. Having just recently committed to the UN’s SDGs – only the second US city do so – City of Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto came to COP25 

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Vision paper presented at COP25 by key actors to scale up mass market for zero-emission freight vehicles
December 10, 2019
9 December 2019, Madrid, Spain –– As part of the broad coalition convened under the Action towards Climate-friendly Transport (ACT) initiative launched at the UN Climate Action Summit in September, the Zero-Emission Freight Vehicle (ZEFV) ACTion Group has created a common vision together with key players working to scale up the global mass market for 

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New policy brief released: Towards carbon-neutral circular economies at the regional level
December 9, 2019
At the 2019 UN Climate Summit in Madrid, the City of Turku (Finland) will present their circular economy best practices during ICLEI’s Circular Development track at COP25. The City, ICLEI and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra are also releasing today the policy brief “Towards carbon-neutral circular economies at the regional level”. The City of Turku 

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New policy brief released at COP25 calls on climate leaders to reduce emissions from food and agriculture
December 9, 2019
Agriculture is one of the major indirect drivers of biodiversity loss. Increased food production, as a result of intensive agricultural practices, has an immense impact on terrestrial ecosystems and has led to a decrease in nature’s contributions to people. A new policy brief released on 4 December by the Center for Biological Diversity, ICLEI and 

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Infographic: Highlights from CDP and ICLEI’s unified reporting system
December 8, 2019
Local and regional governments are stepping up on climate action. Over 1000 municipalities have declared a climate emergency and local and regional leaders are taking their place on the international stage this week at the 25th Climate COP in Madrid. Local and regional governments are also tackling major emissions sources within their own jurisdictions. They 

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Spotlight on nature’s critical value in the climate crisis
December 8, 2019
There’s an urgent need for cities to do a better job of protecting biodiversity, due to nature’s critical role both in combatting climate change and improving quality of life.  That was the overarching message at yesterday’s session on Integrating Biodiversity, Climate and Land Management at COP25. “We all know that the reduction of one-third of 

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Reflections on the first-ever COP Transport Day
December 8, 2019
COP25 marks the first-ever Transport Day hosted by a COP Presidency. The discussion among transport stakeholders is urgently needed yet has been long overdue. While 83% of NDCs (Nationally-Determined Contributions) identify transport as an important source of GHG emissions and an area for action, only 14% of NDCs set a transport sector emission reduction target.
Women mayor ‘warriors’ of the Amazon inspire COP25 delegates with stories of resilience
December 7, 2019
Mayor Fernanda Hassem (centre) shares with the audience the many challenges the people of Brasiléia face due to climate change, as Mayor Surita of Boa Vista (left) and Mayor Chaves of Maranhão (right) look on. “The federal government is neglecting the Amazon Rainforest. They’re not committed to the forest. And they’re leaving people who live 

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COP25 Infographic: How local and regional governments engage in global climate advocacy
December 6, 2019
COP25 is underway. The Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Constituency has come to the annual Convention of the Parties with 100+ mayors and other subnational leaders from 40+ countries and 70 cities, participating in 120+ sessions supported by 20+ partners. How did this non-party stakeholder group come into being? At the Earth Summit in 

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Early days of COP25 highlights plight of most vulnerable nations
December 6, 2019
While much of the world’s attention is focused on limiting the long-term effects of global warming, the kick-off to COP25 fittingly shined light on the monumental challenges the world’s most vulnerable nations already face – challenges brought on by everything from rising sea levels to extreme weather patterns.
Four issues to watch at the unstoppable COP25
December 4, 2019
Written by Yunus Arikan, Head of ICLEI Global Advocacy and Policy, and Matteo Bizzotto, Junior Communications Officer After a turbulent last-minute change of host country, COP25 is underway in Madrid, Spain, from 2 to 13 December 2019 under the Presidency of Chile. This is not the first time the organization of this UNFCCC event has 

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First African Mobility Month shifts the narrative on walking and cycling
December 4, 2019
by Tu My Tran – Senior Officer, Sustainable Mobility  All trips begin or end with walking. In many cities around the world, congestion and pollution have reached a tipping point; space is limited and the use of private cars is no longer efficient. Despite this, most mobility-related investments still focus on new roads and highways 

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COP25: Cities demonstrate how circular development supports climate action
December 3, 2019
At the 2019 UN Climate Summit in Madrid, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability together with cities from around the world will demonstrate how circular development drives ambitious and systemic climate action at the local level. Don’t miss ICLEI’s Circular Development activities at COP25.
Taka ni Mali: African inspiration for circular development
December 3, 2019
By Blake Robinson and Paul Currie, Senior Professional Officers in Urban Systems, ICLEI Africa Secretariat Harnessing the value and productivity of resources through integrated resource management activities and circular development is vital for more sustainable cities – but what does this mean in practice? Many African cities already show high levels of circular resource use, 

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New report charts the evolution of urban resilience
November 20, 2019
It’s 2009. The world has failed to reach a meaningful international climate agreement at COP15 in Copenhagen. Despite increased climate action, cities and regions are increasingly feeling the effects of climate change. Mitigation alone is not enough – cities and regions around the world need to build resilience. Responding to this need, ICLEI launched the 

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Mainstreaming nature in Malawi: Bringing local-level knowledge to national decision-making
November 19, 2019
In a time when cities are bursting at the seams, policy reform is vital to protect ecosystems and build climate resilient cities that preserve urban nature. This three-part series will share three policy victories in Malawi where nature is being conserved and considered  in Lilongwe City, the country’s capital, and beyond. Lilongwe City is often 

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The water-energy-food nexus – an intersectoral approach to resource efficiency
November 15, 2019
Is it possible to reduce the use of resources in our urban food, energy and water systems, and at the same time stimulate local development and the economy? Nashik, India shows that a nexus approach - an intersectoral approach to sector specific problems - could be the answer.
Anna Reynolds, Lord Mayor of Hobart, Australia, on the special role of capital cities in combating climate change
October 25, 2019
The capital cities are Australia’s best-known cities, and they are the economic engines of the country, so they have an important role to play in tackling climate change and working with the national government, the Lord Mayor from Hobart related in a recent interview.
African leaders show strength of subnational governments at international Climate Chance Summit in Accra
October 25, 2019
The annual Climate Chance Summit in Accra, Ghana brought together thousands of subnational actors to discuss innovative ways to tackle climate change and create thriving, sustainable cities on the African continent. The event showcased and encouraged local government climate action on the ground and financing mechanisms to support these efforts.
The Seoul Connection: One city's mission to spread climate action
October 9, 2019
Seoul is home to about 10 million citizens and is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The rapidly growing population has also been critical to the city’s success in becoming one of the world’s most sustainable cities. Host of the upcoming 2019 Seoul Mayors Forum on Climate Change, Seoul Metropolitan Government 

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Using the power of art to communicate on nature and climate
October 8, 2019
Most of the messages reaching us about environmental degradation and climate change have a looming, threatening rhetoric. Rising greenhouse gas emissions are melting glaciers, the world is experiencing mass extinctions, and extreme meteorological events linked to climate change are hitting communities throughout the world.
Eight great ideas to tackle food insecurity from industrial legacy cities
October 8, 2019
For formerly industrial cities that have transitioned away from heavy industry, food insecurity has been a dire problem. Prolonged disinvestment common to former blue collar neighborhoods often means that food insecurity is more significant in these areas. But these cities are also showing how food systems can be made more equitable and sustainable.
Cities across the globe meet to define best practices in low emission development
October 8, 2019
Sometimes seeing something is the best way to learn. That’s what representatives from 23 cities in Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Rwanda, South Africa and Europe had the opportunity to do on a recent European study trip on sustainable urban development and climate resilience.
Top 5 takeaways for cities and regions from the UN Climate Action Summit
September 25, 2019
For this year’s Climate Action Summit in New York, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on leaders to bring concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, plans that would bring nations in line to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade and to net zero emissions by 

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How to declare a climate emergency
September 24, 2019
A new toolkit from the Global Covenant of Mayor for Climate and Energy (GCoM) and partners shared with cities in the run up to the Global Climate Action Summit this week in New York continues to drive momentum on the climate emergency movement. Why declare a climate emergency? Climate science, as well as increasing incidences 

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The power of diversity: How local action can deliver on the global goals
September 24, 2019
This week in New York, heads of state and government have come together at the UN headquarters for two dedicated Summits on climate action and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As they gather at the highest political level to support and guide the sustainability agenda through the SDGs, political leaders are recognizing that real implementation 

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Zero-Carbon Cities Can Unlock Nearly $24 Trillion
September 24, 2019
New report shows low-carbon measures in cities could reduce urban emissions by nearly 90 percent and support 87 million jobs annually by 2030 A new report from the Coalition for Urban Transitions finds that investment in low-carbon measures in cities would be worth almost US $24 trillion by 2050 – proof that thriving cities create 

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Food for thought: how Seoul and Hong Kong are tackling food waste
September 24, 2019
On 29-31 July, a Hong Kong delegation visited Seoul to learn from the city’s advanced food waste policies and practices. Through the ICLEI-organized tour, Hong Kong city officials were presented with innovative technological solutions and people-centered approaches. Hong Kong: a small land with a mounting problem Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated 

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ICLEI and Turku kick-start partnership to design a blueprint for regional circularity
September 13, 2019
The city of Turku and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability have launched a partnership to design a regional Resource Wisdom Roadmap with the support of the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. The rationale behind resource wisdom Resource wisdom is an operating model developed by Sitra to support cities and municipalities in making their activities carbon 

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A Tale of Two Summits: Shaping the next decade of integrated action on climate and sustainability
September 11, 2019
Delivering ambitious, collaborative climate action is crucial to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This September in New York, Heads of State and Government will come together at the UN headquarters for two dedicated Summits on climate action and the SDGs. These Summits will be the key events among a week full of activity – all 

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Pasig City, Philippines demonstrates the benefits of inclusive climate action
September 10, 2019
Pasig City, in the heart of Metro Manila, is taking an inclusive approach to driving climate action at the local level. Along with eight other Southeast Asian cities, Pasig City is working with ICLEI to develop and deploy bottom-up models of climate action planning through the Ambitious City Promises project. The city has embarked on 

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Tackling urban freight through collaborative action
August 30, 2019
Freight transport is at the core of today’s global economy; in emerging regions such as Asia, the logistics industry accounts for 15 to 25 percent of GDP. However, urban freight also causes adverse impacts to cities, including traffic congestion, poor air quality, noise pollution and intensity of road accidents. Emissions from road freight transport alone 

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