After COP25, frustration over decisions but even more hope on local climate action

The longest-ever climate conference, COP25, concluded on Sunday. The talks punted a number of meaningful decisions to 2020, and some results were even cause for disappointment. But those of us working for local and regional governments are used to taking the lead on ambition. While we are frustrated at the lack of progress on the decisions coming out of the negotiations, we still found four reasons to remain hopeful after this COP25.

Japanese local and regional governments move first on Paris Agreement

The new Japanese Minister of Environment, Shinjirō Koizumi, attended his first climate Conference of the Parties this year, and he brought with him both good and bad news. Local and regional governments in Japan have been stepping forward to make ambitious commitments to zero carbon, as of COP25, 28 local governments had announced their plans 

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The glorious past returns: How Essen is harnessing its industrial legacy to accelerate sustainability

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.

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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Vision paper presented at COP25 by key actors to scale up mass market for zero-emission freight vehicles

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

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

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

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

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

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.