National Urban Policies for Climate Neutrality

Organised by ICLEI Europe partner the European Urban Knowledge Network (EUKN), this session will critically examine the concept of climate neutrality. Speakers will furthermore investigate the role that National Urban Policies (NUPs) can play in fostering green urban transition in Europe, as well as in supporting local, national and international projects that advance climate-neutrality.

National Urban Policies for Climate Neutrality

27 June, 12:15–13:30 CEST | Eleventh Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF11) | European Track Room

Our session on the Green City from a national and European perspective will aim at creating a discussion about the importance of National Urban Policies in achieving climate neutrality. Reacting to statements and engaging with the audience, our experts will aim to answer the question: ‘How can National Urban Policies support cities in delivering ambitious and urgent climate action?’

Learn more and register here:

ICLEI World Congress 2021 - 2022
Every three years, ICLEI hosts the ICLEI World Congress to showcase how cities, towns and regions across our network are advancing sustainable urban development worldwide. The ICLEI World Congress connects local and regional governments with their peers and strategic partners, and provides a platform for discussions that will inform and enhance their work.

ICLEI World Congress 2021 - 2022

11-13 May 2022 in Malmö, Sweden (Virtual and In-Person)

by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability

From the founding World Congress in New York City, USA in 1990, the ICLEI World Congress has always taken a deep and critical look at the most relevant and pressing issues in urban sustainability. The ICLEI World Congress is the core event organized by ICLEI. Each event is a chance for the network and our partners to come together and outline the future of sustainability in urban areas worldwide.

The ICLEI World Congress 2021 – 2022: The Malmö Summit will feature three days of rich and engaging sessions, preceded by the Research Symposium as a dedicated Research & Innovation component. The Malmö Summit sessions are divided into the following overarching categories:

  • Strategies towards a climate neutral future
  • Strategies towards resilient and healthy communities in harmony with nature
  • Strategies towards equitable and inclusive communities

In order for cities, towns and regions to achieve these objectives, key enablers for action need to be leveraged. The Malmö Summit will give special attention to two of those enablers: Sustainable finance and Innovation. Additionally, the key themes of public procurementcircular development and sustainable mobility will be examined in a number of sessions.

The Research Symposium, which is a full-day hybrid event with a special focus on in-person engagement, will be a space to discuss how different stakeholders can collectively address the knowledge gaps and priority topics identified in the updated Global Research and Action Agenda (GRAA) and City Research Agenda (CRA); what are potential roadmaps to address these gaps and priority topics; and how can academia and subnational governments work together in co-designing exemplary research and innovation projects.

Learn more and register here:

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network of more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. Active in 125+ countries, we influence sustainability policy and drive local action for low emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient and circular development. Our Members and team of experts work together through peer exchange, partnerships and capacity building to create systemic change for urban sustainability.

How circular cities protect biodiversity
This article outlines the impacts of urban areas on biodiversity and demonstrates how localizing the circular economy can help cities in preserving and enhancing biodiversity. It also shares best practices from Turku (Finland), Guelph (Canada), and Delhi (India) in prioritizing regenerative processes and primary resources, while eliminating waste and pollutants such as single-use plastics.

How circular cities protect biodiversity

by Marion Guenard | Originally posted on 21 March 2022 on CityTalk - a blog by ICLEI

The linear economic model relies on a continuous process of extraction and processing of natural resources, which is responsible for more than 90 percent of biodiversity loss. This take-make-waste model is contributing to all drivers of biodiversity loss, from land and sea use change, to ecosystem exploitation and to pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Addressing biodiversity loss requires transformative action at all levels and across all sectors. Most importantly, it necessitates a systemic shift to a circular economy that safeguards biodiversity. The circular transition involves prioritizing regenerative resources, reducing the demand for primary resources and avoiding the generation of pollution and waste

With urban areas acting as the consumption centers of our world’s resources, local governments play an important role in this transformation. In fact, they are in a unique position to drive, catalyze and enable circular economy interventions in support of biodiversity protection and regeneration. Critically, cities are also dependent on biodiversity for sustaining the social, economic and environmental well-being of their residents which makes it all the more important for them to be at the forefront of the circular transition.

The recently published briefing sheet City-level circular economy interventions to protect and enhance biodiversity outlines the ways in which urban areas are currently impacting biodiversity and demonstrates how localizing the circular economy can help cities to preserve and enhance biodiversity both within and beyond their jurisdiction.

Here are three ways circular cities can help address the biodiversity crisis.

1) Prioritizing regenerative resources and processes

Circular cities prioritize actions that restore and protect ecosystems, promote nature-based solutions and prioritize resources to power circular systems. This ensures the ecosystems urban and economic systems rely on can continue to deliver ecosystem services and that circular systems are resilient and sustainable.

Best practice: Turku´s circular water systems sources water regeneratively 

In 2009, Turku (Finland) joined forces with nine neighboring municipalities to invest in circular water and wastewater management infrastructure that minimize nutrient pollution, deliver heat for district heating purposes and facilitate sludge recovery. Upstream, the municipalities wanted to ensure groundwater reserves would be protected. For this reason, the public company Turku Region Water Ltd. has implemented an innovative groundwater replenishment technique called Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR). This technique recharges an aquifer using either surface or underground recharge techniques and thereby offers a natural means of producing high-quality water and increasing the yields of the aquifer. The MAR method enables the groundwater levels of the aquifer to be restored to their natural levels. Part of the electricity needed in the pretreatment of the river water that is used for infiltration is produced by 1,350 solar panels.

2) Decreasing demand for primary resources 

About 75 percent of the world’s natural resource consumption takes place in cities and almost 80 percent of all food is consumed by urban residents. Between 2010 and 2050, cities’ material consumption is projected to more than double from 40 to 90 billion tonnes.

Circular cities reduce demand for primary resources by using what already exists, circulating products and materials for as long and at the highest value as possible, and designing consumption- and production models for resource efficiency. These principles can be applied to a variety of resource and materials flows.

Best practice: Guelph supports greywater use and rainwater harvesting at household level

The city of Guelph is one of the largest cities in Canada to rely primarily on groundwater for its water supply. For this reason, the city has long sought to conserve water through diverse initiatives. One of these initiatives is a rebates program to support the installation of greywater reuse and rainwater harvesting systems, which reduce demand on the groundwater supply by allowing homes and businesses to use water that would otherwise enter sewage or stormwater systems. The 35 households participating in this system have allowed Guelph to reduce its water consumption by 962,350 liters yearly and reduce its CO2 emissions by 490 kg per year.

3) Eliminating waste and pollutants

Urban areas generate half of the global waste with municipal waste levels expected to double by 2050. Where waste is not handled properly, it risks undermining biodiversity and ecosystem health, whether due to littering, runoff or landfills leaking pollutants into the natural environment. It is, for example, estimated that urban areas are responsible for 60 percent of marine plastic litter causing detrimental impacts to coastal and marine biodiversity

Circular cities eliminate waste and pollution by improving design and/or ensuring waste streams are safely revitalized, thereby making sure waste and pollution do not materialize in the production and consumption cycle. This can be done through a variety of city-level measures such as incentivizing the design of production methods that minimize waste, regulating the consumption of disposable items or investing in closed-loop infrastructure.

Best practice: Phasing out single-use plastics in Delhi

A massive 60 percent of the plastic waste in the oceans is estimated to come from India. In Delhi, the open burning of plastic waste is causing major health and environmental challenges. The Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi adopted the “Comprehensive Action Plan for Elimination of Identified Single-Use Plastic” in December 2021. The Action Plan organizes a three-step phase-out of single-use plastic such as bags, cutlery, films, banners and wrappers, which is set to be completed by the end of 2022. In addition, incentives for the uptake of single-use plastics alternatives and a scheme for the promotion of high-value plastics recycling technologies will be implemented.

To support a shift to consumption and production patterns that work with rather than against nature, cities need to combine the principles outlined above to address impacts all along the take-make-waste model. This is a challenging task that can only succeed if cities learn from and build on each other’s successes. Access ICLEI´s briefing sheet City-level circular economy interventions to protect and enhance biodiversity for practical examples of how this can be done in practice or watch the recordings of our webinar Localizing biodiversity through the circular economy to learn more about best practices from the ICLEI network.

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Decarbonizing transport: Powering vehicles with renewable energy is the way forward
To truly reach the Paris Agreement’s goals of limiting global warming, the transport sector needs to shift towards more sustainable and energy-efficient transport modes.

Decarbonizing transport: Powering vehicles with renewable energy is the way forward

This blog was written on 25 November 2021 by Karishma Asarpota, Jr. Officer, Climate & Energy Action, and Himanshu Raj, Officer, Sustainable Mobility and was published on the CityTalk blog by ICLEI).

Global energy demand in the transport sector is on the rise due to the growing population and increased movement of people and goods. In 2018, the transport sector was responsible for 25 percent of direct CO2 emissions from fuel combustion. Even if today’s commitments to decarbonize transport are fully implemented,  carbon emissions are estimated to increase by 16 percent in 2050 (ITF 2021).

The uptake of Electric Vehicles (EV)

Shifting towards electric mobility has recently emerged as a global strategy for decarbonizing the transport sector and is receiving growing support from local governments across the world.

In 2020 alone, the global electric car stock reached the 10 million mark, a 43 percent increase from 2019. This growth was supported by fiscal incentives provided by many governments, as well as technological advancement in the battery industry, which has brought down the EVs’ total price of ownership to almost parity with internal combustion engines.

In the public sector, the uptake of electric buses has accelerated significantly thanks to dedicated policies and governmental support, with China dominating the market.

The COVID-19 pandemic also played a catalytic role in urban electrification. Electric micro-mobility, such as e-bikes and e-scooters, gained traction during the lockdowns, with outreach in 650+ cities. Similarly, the surge in online shopping due to the pandemic-related restrictions, paired with urban policies to limit emissions in central areas, have pushed many companies like DHL, Amazon, IKEA to commit to decarbonizing their operations through supporting the push for EV’s.

Which type of energy powers EVs?

While shifting to electric mobility seems like a feasible way forward, there are elements that should not be forgotten. Currently, only a little over 3 percent of the transport sector is run on renewable energy – of which mostly biofuels – and many countries who committed to net-zero targets are simultaneously looking to expand their electric mobility, which will impact the charging of EVs. To this extent, how EVs are charged will be one of the crucial elements to decarbonize the transport sector.

Smart Charging options, for instance, could help flatten the peak demand by adapting the charging EVs to the conditions of the power systems and the needs of vehicle users. These systems use artificial intelligence and data points to optimize charging across various devices connected within their network. In practice, this would incentivize late morning  or  afternoon charging in systems with large penetration of solar energy supply, while nighttime charging could be powered by wind production, as EVs tend to be parked for a longer time than they need to fully charge.

Distributed Renewable Energy (DRE) systems can complement smart charging options by alleviating the demand on the main grid. These systems generate electricity through renewable sources near the point of use, and could potentially power most of a city’s electric mobility options, such as public e-bikes, light commercial vehicles, shared or corporate car fleets, and electric buses, as well as public charging infrastructure.

Accompanying peak shaving mechanisms to balance the grid by adjusting EV charging levels, complemented with local solutions such as decentralized DRE systems and optimized ICT controls can help significantly reduce grid infrastructure reinforcements (IRENA, 2019).

Driving the way forward

Policies – both long term and short term – that support the shift to a decarbonized transport system will need to become part of every urban low-carbon policy development. Additionally, it will be crucial for national and subnational governments to set legally-binding decarbonization goals with intermediate targets that also touch upon technology choices and address the life cycle of infrastructure implemented.

Strategic policies can be implemented on the ground through collaboration between the energy and transport sectors. To ensure continuity and consistency of exchange, platforms that bring both sectors together should be institutionalized and made permanent. This will also help improve cross-sectoral knowledge between these sectors to help with upgrading to necessary skill sets and shaping the policy narrative. One example of such a platform is the SOLUTIONSplus project which brings together cities, industry, research, implementing organizations, and finance partners to explore solutions to kick-start the transition toward low-carbon urban mobility.

Multi-level governance frameworks between national and sub-national governments to promote renewable energy and low-carbon transport technologies are a prerequisite to ensure the acceleration of on-the-ground implementation. Addressing upfront costs, financial instruments, and market fluctuations are being recognized as crucial and are being addressed by governments and projects that support e-mobility, as seen in Germany and in the GEF-funded e-mobility program in the global south.

As technological innovations and interventions advance to meet decarbonization targets, technology choices need to be considered carefully – from an economic, management, and life cycle perspective.


Want to learn more about powering electric vehicles? Take a look at our recently released Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Factsheet. This factsheet is part of the 100% Renewables Factsheets (Applications Series) which provides key facts and introductory technical information about EV charging stations and other renewable energy applications.

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The road to healthier and climate neutral cities
It is said that a city’s transport infrastructure is like its blood supply, circulating people and goods. It can also be said that it’s a reflection of a city’s vigor and health. Partly due to spikes in population growth and continual urbanization, the last few years have seen the livability of cities around the world plummet as our reliance on automobiles mounts. Air pollution, congested streets, higher rates of road accidents, and carbon emissions are some of the common challenges cities face. Thus, it is urgent for cities to look into an urban mobility model that is more environmentally friendly, socially inclusive, and economically efficient.

The road to healthier and climate-neutral cities

by Yiqian Zhang | 14 October 2021 | CityTalk - Blog by ICLEI 

Fortunately, some cities are taking strides in making these changes. From Malmö, Sweden to Rosario, Argentina, here are some of the steps cities are taking to healthier and climate-neutral cities, through sustainable urban mobility.

Aligning vision for integrated transport planning (Malmö, Sweden)

A vision picture of a planned metro station in Malmö

To successfully use policy changes to drive the mobility paradigm shift, it is imperative that there be an alignment of vision and efforts. Cities need to ensure that the promotion of sustainable mobility in transport planning is not isolated from other related urban policies. Malmö, Sweden’s Comprehensive Plan drives its long-term development strategy, steering the city along its committed sustainable journey. High-quality public transport forms the structural backbone of the city’s urban planning. Malmö adopted the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) design principles by bringing compact, mixed-use development within walking distance of high-capacity public transit nodes. In tandem with TOD, Malmö changed norms for the establishment of new parking spaces along with new urban development projects, connected different districts with a new city railway, and is expanding a safe and connected cycling network.

Malmö applied TOD design principles by bringing compact, mixed-use development within walking distance of high-capacity public transit nodes. Source: Malmö’s Comprehensive Plan

Redevelopment of the existing urban fabric ensures that residents can live close to jobs, activities, services, and other destinations, resulting in reduced travel times and greenhouse gas emissions. “Upgrading of the urban environment surrounding stations and terminals in combination with safe and dedicated walking and cycling paths to public transport nodes increase the willingness to walk or cycle to a station by up to 70 percent”, says Leif Gjesing Hansen, Community Planning and Establishment Project Leader at the City of Malmö.

Accelerating the deployment of electric mobility (Kigali, Rwanda)

Electric mobility has enormous potential to improve sustainable urban transport systems. Challenged with issues ranging from congestion, pollution, and deteriorating infrastructure, the City of Kigali, Rwanda is planning to scale up its electric mobility.

The planned Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), in close collaboration with the ministries in charge of transport and energy and other transport institutions, will introduce electric buses with feeder services provided by electric bikes, as well as gender-inclusive electric motorcycle taxis. An e-bike sharing scheme will be tested along the most widely used bus corridors with charging points powered by solar energy, allowing seamless, connected travel.

Putting users’ needs at the core of transport services (Quito, Ecuador)

The urban mobility landscape is evolving fast and the innovations in data and technology in transportation have led to new forms of on-demand, flexible mobility services. However, for the users, it can be challenging to be confronted with all the options. This is where the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) concept steps in. MaaS fulfills users’ mobility needs with a wide range of transport services and integrates end-to-end trip planning, ticketing, and payments services.

Quito, the capital and largest city of Ecuador, is putting the transport users at the core of its transport services with the aim of building smart cities for all. As part of the AI for Inclusive Urban Sidewalks project, the city is working to standardize data sources and use artificial intelligence to measure the accessibility of sidewalks across neighborhoods. Such information will be scaled up to the entire city and linked to the city’s Mobility Master Plan. These advances enable better integration between various modes of transport and facilitated more environmentally-friendly urban trips.

Putting urban freight on the radar (Rosario, Argentina)

An efficient freight system forms an integral part of a productive economy and a people-centered urban environment. The City of Rosario, Argentina is rethinking its urban logistics system and aims to integrate zero-emission freight vehicles with its existing public bike share system Mibici Tubici. With now more than 200 kilometers of bike lanes in the city, Rosario plans to expand its cycling network and is looking to widen the bike lanes for cargo bikes.

“During the pandemic, it was a good move to explore new topics in urban planning. I am not saying that we have the perfect urban mobility system, but it is important to explore more aspects of mobility, and we need to think about freight as well and integrate it into overall mobility planning”, says Eleonora Piriz, Integral Planning Manager of the City of Rosario.

The road ahead

The approaches above were just some of the solutions presented at the session “All roads lead to healthier and climate neutral cities”, organized by ICLEI Sustainable Mobility as part of the ICLEI World Congress 2021 – 2022: The Road to Malmö. Although these cities are taking steps toward creating more sustainable cities, the need to examine the current stresses on mobility in urban environments has never been greater.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced cities to quickly adapt to the demands of a changing environment and has given cities a glimpse into a more livable future, as lockdowns brought a rare respite from gridlocks and cleared skies. It is important that cities continue to promote public transportation, active mobility, electric mobility, and other sustainable alternatives as the core of the mobility ecosystem.


The session All roads lead to healthier and climate-neutral cities are available to watch on-demand.

This session was organized in collaboration with the projects: ICLEI World Congress 2022, SOLUTIONSplus project, and ICLEI’s IKI EcoLogistics project.

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Daring Cities 2021 wraps up with a sense that local voices are finally being heard.
The need for greater cooperation between local, regional, and national levels of government has been a recurring theme at Daring Cities 2021, and looking ahead to COP26, Yunis Arikan, Director of Global Advocacy for ICLEI observed that “before the leaders come on the first of November (at the start of COP26), they will now be aware that we are in a new urban world in the age of climate emergency and multi-level action is the key.”

Daring Cities 2021 wraps up with a sense that local voices are finally being heard

by Mark Wessel | Posted on 11 October 2021 on CityTalk (Blog by ICLEI) | Cover Photo Source: Unsplash

For the past 20 years, Saleemul Huq has been working with people living in what he described as “the poorer parts of the developing world,” and as he spoke on what was the final day of Daring Cities 2021 – billed as 2030 Visions Day –, Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development, admitted that he was starting his presentation on a note of pessimism.

“We have entered into an era of loss and damage from the impacts of climate change,” he said, referencing extreme weather conditions over the past year. Having failed to curtail global warming, he predicted that our future will be one where “every year is going to be worse than before… and unfortunately we are not prepared for it anywhere in the world.”

Huq pilloried the world’s leaders for not following through on committments to the keep global temperature rise to below 1.5C at the 2015 Paris Summit and to give 100 billion dollars to the poor countries by 2020 tied to climate mitigation and resiliency projects. “I think the issue now is what are we going to do, and when I say ‘we’ I don’t mean our leaders, because our leaders have failed to deliver.”

Answering his own question, Huq posited that “a much more promising approach (involves) citizens around the world getting together… learning from each other and sharing from each other in real time as we are doing here in this conference.” Building on that thought process, he said that urban stakeholders need to connect “not just at a once a year conference… but every single day.”

Speaking on behalf of GLOBE International, an organization that works closely with national legislators to promote sustainable development, Chief Executive Malini Mehra agreed with advocating this type of exchange, saying “I think it’s high time that we delivered on a more synergistic working relationship between the national, subnational and regional (levels of government). Because only with that kind of close multilevel governance will we have any hope of delivering (on climate change mitigation).”

Mehra observed that current intergovernmental communication gaps are further complicated by the reality that “many local governments around the world are not required by law… to deliver on climate change legislation.” That, despite the fact she said that the 2015 Paris Agreement “created a requirement for a multi-governance, multi-stakeholder delivery of the agreements. So we have the mandate, we just need to get on and do it.” With that mindset, Mehra said she welcomed the opportunity for her group to work more closely with the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities Constituency (LGMA), which represents networks of local and regional governments at the processes under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), adding that she hopes that COP26, which gets underway at the end of this month “marks the beginning of a really promising collaboration between our  constituencies.”

After touching on his city’s accomplishments as Turkey’s greenest city (including fact they have ambitious 2030 climate action plans in place), Tunç Soyer, Mayor of Izmir observed that globally, “the relationship between nature and humanity is alarmingly weakened after two decades of time-wasting discussion.”

To address our current disconnect with nature, Soyer recommended that we adopt “a set of values we call circular culture,” tied to a lifestyle focussed on circularity rather than overconsumption and waste.

To create more sustainable cities, where circularity and better resource management goes hand in hand with job creation, Lars Gronvald, Team Leader with the European Union’s International Partnerships said that his group is providing funding for urban centres in such countries as Cameroon and Tanzania in support of a green transformation. Funding that helps to keep small to medium sized businesses both sustainable and competitive. The EU department is also promoting a 2030 Biodiversity Strategy designed to help reverse environmental degradation.

Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter the Parliamentary Secretary of State for Germany’s Ministry of the Environment described how her country has supported over 750 urban development projects in over 60 countries around the world since 2008, in support of climate change mitigation and resiliency efforts.

Confirming the view that many LGMA leaders have long held, Schwarzelühr-Sutter observed that “clearly cities cannot tackle climate change all alone. National governments have the responsibility of creating the enabling environment that allows cities to address climate change (and) this includes access to the necessary financial resources.”

The need for greater cooperation between local, regional and national levels of government has been a recurring theme at Daring Cities 2021 and looking ahead to COP26, Yunis Arikan, Director of Global Advocacy for ICLEI observed that “before the leaders come on the first of November (at the start of COP26), they will now be aware that we are in a new urban world in the age of climate emergency and multi-level action is the key.” An awareness that will be amplified by the creation for that event of the LGMA Multilevel Action Pavilion.

The pavilion is made possible as a result of close collaboration between the Scottish government, ICLEI, and a host of other LGMA groups, including such global entities as GCoM, C40 Cities, the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa, the UN-Habitat for a Better Future and fittingly (considering where the event is taking place), Glasgow City Council. The pavilion will help to promote “a new momentum” for negotiations which hopefully “will kick off an era of multilevel action in the age of climate emergency where ICLEI will play a key role,” Arikan said.

Adding to Arikan’s sense of optimism, Frank Cownie, Mayor of the City of Des Moines and President of ICLEI, observed that in the wake of Daring Cities 2021 and with both World Cities Day (Oct. 31) and COP26 on the horizon, this year “we have a brilliant opportunity… with more and more cities and regions stepping up on the climate emergency.” To which he added, “this surge is the biggest source of hope for current and future generations to prove that a  transformation has already begun.”

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The path to finance: How to pitch climate projects – TAP Asia-Africa pitch event
This pitch event with a focus on Africa and Asia, aims to (i) contribute to a better understanding of financing opportunities (ii) gives tips and tricks of project pitching, as well as (iii) enable the space for selected projects to test their pitch and concept. 

The path to finance: How to pitch climate projects – TAP Asia-Africa pitch event

Date: 28 October 2021 | Time: 09:00 - 11:50 UTC+2 | Register here

One of the main bottlenecks identified why local governments continue to be unable to access climate finance is the limited knowledge about the needs and requirements of funders. Furthermore, they rarely have the opportunity to engage with them directly. In a similar way, financial institutions and investors encounter difficulties in identifying bankable projects from sub-national governments and have limited exposure to the wide range of projects that cities have.

This pitch event with a focus on Africa and Asia, aims to (i) contribute to a better understanding of financing opportunities (ii) give tips and tricks of project pitching, as well as (iii) enable the space for selected projects to test their pitch and concept. 

The event also intends to contribute to reach the ambitious goals of the LUCI initiative through participants receiving first-hand information about project preparation and financing opportunities of the various LUCI and TAP partners.

After the presentations, eight (8) TAP project developers, divided in two (2) groups  (in each group four (4)) can make their pitch, and get recommendations from a jury consisting of financial partner/institution representatives.

About the Transformative Action Program

First launched in 2015 the Transformative Actions Program (TAP) led by ICLEI, and supported by its 15 partners aims to catalyze and improve capital flows to cities, towns, and regions through strengthening their capacity to access climate finance and attract investment. 

Projects are submitted through annual calls and then screened by ICLEI World Secretariat. Those that show high transformative potential become part of the project pipeline and are invited to marketplaces to pitch their concepts to financial institutions, Project Preparation Facility Providers and private investors.

Acknowledging that local and regional governments need support for project preparation, TAP offers capacity building services, such as webinars, peer exchange workshops, access to tools and knowledge products to all applicants with the goal to enable them to develop robust low carbon and climate-resilient local projects.


  • Idan Sasson, Project Coordinator, Climate Policy Initiative (CPI)
  • Giulia Macagno, Head of the City Climate Finance Gap Fund Technical Secretariat, European Investment Bank
  • Augustin Maria, Senior Urban Specialist, The World Bank / Gap Fund
  • Serge Allou, Technical Advisor, UCLG / IMIF
  • David Albertani, Program Director, R20 – Regions of Climate Action / SnCF
  • Jean-François Habeau, Executive Director, FMDV
  • Arne Janssen, Urban Environment Specialist, Cities Alliance
  • David Albertani,  R20 – Regions of Climate Action / SnCF
  • Andy Deacon, Acting Managing Director, Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM)


  • Eszter Mogyorósy, Head of Innovative Finance, ICLEI World Secretariat


  • Nils Huhn, FELICITY (TBC)
  • Pablo Nunez, Director, Investor Relations, GIB

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How to start using climate and net-zero aligned clauses in your contracts
This workshop gives procurers the opportunity to get introduced to the Net Zero Toolkit by the Chancery Lane Project, which can be used by subnational governments that have committed to the Race to Zero and ICLEI’s Climate Neutrality Framework. The toolkit includes practical checklists, case studies and a glossary of relevant terms around climate and procurement.

How to start using climate and net-zero aligned clauses in your contracts


Date: 12 October 2021 | Time: 13:00 - 14:00 UTC+2 | Register here

Public procurement is vital to the achievement of climate neutrality targets set by governments around the world. In the workshop, you will get an overview of the Climate Clauses across sectors such as energy or information technology (IT). This session will also add value to policymakers and sustainability advisors by showcasing very practically the significant leverage public procurement holds in institutionalising climate targets. 


  • Becky Annison, Director of Engagement, The Chancery Lane Project
  • Maryke van Staden, Director of ICLEI’s Bonn Center for Local Climate Action and Reporting (Carbon Climate Center), ICLEI World Secretariat
  • Josefine Hintz, Officer, Global Initiatives, Sustainable, Innovation and Circular Procurement, ICLEI Europe

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Photo Credit: Unsplash

City of Campinas, Brazil, implements works to improve the quality of life and preserve the region’s wildlife

Located in the northwest of the state of São Paulo, the city of Campinas is implementing three new arboreal wildlife passes.

City of Campinas, Brazil, implements works to improve the quality of life and preserve the region’s wildlife

by ICLEI | Posted on 31 August 2021

Located in the northwest of the state of São Paulo, the city of Campinas is implementing three new arboreal wildlife passes. One intervention is located on the Rhodia road, over the Anhumas stream, and two on the José Bonifácio Coutinho Nogueira highway, one close to Fazenda Santa Mônica and another close to the city’s Ecological Park. 

The delivery of tickets is part of the INTERACT-Bio project and aims to improve the use and management of natural resources in fast-growing cities and the surrounding regions, especially in relation to the provision of essential services for the daily lives of cities and, at the same time, boost the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems. In Brazil, the project is implemented in Campinas, Londrina and Belo Horizonte. 

The works are also part of the RECONECTA RMC initiative, which aims at cooperation between the 20 municipalities in the Metropolitan Region of Campinas and aims to promote actions for the recovery and conservation of fauna and flora in all cities in the region.

“This regional articulation in favor of environmental recovery, valuing ecosystem services and in defense of biodiversity to reconnect green areas of the MRC, through ecological corridors, is already a reference worldwide and brings us enthusiasm and hope in a moment of apprehension ”, says Rogério Menezes, Secretary of Green, Environment and Sustainable Development of Campinas.

According to a survey by the Brazilian Center for Studies in Road Ecology (CBEE), 15 animals are killed per second in Brazil – that is, 1.3 million per day or 475 million per year.

For Rodrigo Perpétuo, executive secretary of ICLEI South America, the inauguration of the works is a moment of great representation and consolidation of the work developed by ICLEI. “The implementation of the demonstration projects represents an advance in the country’s sustainable urban development path, as they drive the institutional strengthening of the participating regions, the implementation of Nature-based Solutions, the promotion of ecosystem services and the sustainable urban development that thinks in a better future for everyone.” 

Fauna passes

This type of solution, which is common around the world, is gaining more and more space on Brazilian highways. Fauna passages can vary between some types: underground, which are species of tunnels that connect one vegetation space to another (despite being tunnels, they are lined with some materials to look as natural as possible); the ecoducts, which are green “walkways” (concrete viaducts lined with the forest in the region for the traffic of animals); finally, another common fauna passage is the suspended one, which are wooden structures, similar to a bridge, allowing routes for small animals, such as arboreal and scansorial animals.

In addition to preserving wildlife, the wildlife passages also ensure the protection and safety of road users.

Plano de Conectividade da Região Metropolitana de Campinas

The Metropolitan Region of Campinas has stood out in the fight against the climate emergency and corrections to biodiversity. One of the most recent initiatives was the launch of the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Area of ​​Connectivity (AC) in the Metropolitan Region, which took place in April this year. The Plan processes a new paradigm for the regional management of biodiversity and for the promotion of ecosystem services, consolidating the results of the articulation between the 20 municipalities in the region. Illustrating its avant-garde performance, the region becomes the first in the country to launch a regional biodiversity strategy in a collaborative way.

The connectivity of remaining green areas in the metropolitan region is a strategic factor for a future where nature is an integral part of solutions to urban challenges. By joining remnants of vegetation through this Area of ​​Connectivity, the connection of the landscape will facilitate the gene flow between populations of fauna and flora, promote more sustainable practices in locally developed economic activities, such as agriculture, and make the territory more resilient to change in climate and its impacts. Fauna passages are projects that demonstrate how the metropolitan region can act towards the fulfillment of the goals established in the Plan. 

About the INTERACT-Bio 

INTERACT-Bio is a four-year project designed for improving the utilization and management of nature within fast-growing cities and the regions surrounding them. It aims to provide expanding urban communities in the Global South with nature-based solutions and associated long-term benefits.

The project will enable governments at all levels – from local to national – to integrate their efforts for mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystem services into core subnational government functions such as spatial planning, land-use management, local economic development and infrastructure design.

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How four cities are fostering equity-focused climate action
Essen and Glasgow are among four Urban Transitions Alliance cities that have been selected for this year’s global peer exchange to advance their equity and climate challenges. A strong focus of the 2021 exchange is effective collaboration with local partners to ensure city programs meet their full potential.

How four cities are fostering equity-focused climate action

by  | 19 August 2021 | Posted on CityTalk - a blog by ICLEI

Cities bring together all types of people into confined urban spaces, and they also reveal stark social inequalities. In dense urban environments, the contrast between rich and poor is particularly visible. This is the case in many industrial legacy cities with traditional workers’ districts. Close to former industrial sites, many of these heavily built-up neighborhoods are suffering from soil and air pollution, aging housing stock and lack of green space. Industrial decline often led to the additional burden of unemployment, population decline and derelict properties. These challenges are a stark contrast  to wealthier parts of the city, that usually see the bigger share of public and private investments.

For example in Essen, Germany, unemployment and poverty rates are significantly higher in the industrially-shaped north of the city than in the more affluent southern districts. More people are renting in lower quality housing with less access to nature, and are experiencing the health related consequences. In Glasgow, UK, similar conditions are causing striking health inequalities: life expectancy for men differs by more than 14 years between the affluent Jordanhill and the former industrial Bridgeton neighborhoods. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing inequality issues even more as access to health care, private living space and recreation areas have become more important than ever and many food banks, shelters and help desks remained closed for months.

1. Glasgow

Social inclusion and recovery of derelict sites through urban food models

The city of Glasgow is currently transitioning away from its manufacturing heritage towards a just and sustainable future. Aiming to become one of Europe’s most circular cities by 2030, Glasgow is committed to reinvent its identity upon a more innovative, fair and participatory economic growth. As part of its Urban Transition Alliance Challenge for 2021, the city will focus on the development of a circular strategy to repurpose derelict urban spaces that lower the quality of life in adjoining neighborhoods while creating unnecessary maintenance costs. To turn these sites into community assets, Glasgow aims to incorporate circular urban food systems. This scheme combines multiple benefits. By transforming their food value chains, the city can catalyze environmental goals while creating shared spaces for recreation, generating fair local jobs and improving food security. This emphasis on food will bring fresh local produce to shelves which were empty during the Covid-19 pandemic.

2. Essen

Leveraging climate action through cross-sectoral financing

Essen, Germany, is a city that has been bearing the impacts of its past mining and steel production for many years but has also been striving to improve the quality of life of its inhabitants by transitioning to a greener and more sustainable future. Recognized as Europe’s green capital in 2017, Essen is currently tackling the challenge of financing the necessary climate adaptation and mitigation measures. In effect, the impacts of climate change – such as droughts and heavy rains – not only threaten the city’s infrastructure and the quality of public spaces but also the interests and operations of different economic actors like insurance companies and health providers. Adaptation measures like green infrastructure projects don’t only have a positive effect on urban climate and air quality, they also have the potential to significantly reduce health insurance costs in the long term. In light of this common interest between the public and private sectors, Essen wants to unlock financing opportunities for climate initiatives with social equity benefits.

© Johannes Kassenberg

3. Gelsenkirchen

Engaging with local businesses to combat climate change

Shaped by its industrial heritage, the city of Gelsenkirchen still struggles with social consequences of structural change: low average income as well as high unemployment and poverty rates. But the city is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving adaptation to climate change equitably across the city on its path towards a just and sustainable future. Aware that this ambitious task requires the support of the private sector, the city is working closely with the Science Park to connect and work with local stakeholders. The partners are developing the Climate Forum initiative, aiming to establish a network that connects local companies in knowledge exchanging and seeking cooperation opportunities in the development of climate change projects that increase green space and improve quality of life for all residents.

4. Shijiazhuang

City-business collaboration to unlock sustainable investments

Located in the national economical center of China, the Yuhua district from the city of Shijiazhuang has started its transition toward a greener future. Aiming to become an example of sustainable transition, the local government, companies and citizens in Yuhua are coming together to find triple-win solutions. Convinced that local businesses can play a leading role in sustainable development, Yuhua’s administration is currently implementing a strategy aimed at harnessing the resources and commitment from the local businesses to better achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition to environmental and climate benefits, an effective city-business collaboration between the Yuhua government and local business partners has the potential to strengthen inclusive employment opportunities.

All the initiatives above are explored within annual Urban Transitions Alliance Challenges, which are current issues submitted by member cities to receive input and recommendations through the Alliance network. All challenges, as well as further equity-related topics of interest, are discussed through the Urban Transition Alliance webinar series.

The Urban Transitions Alliance is an initiative led by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, a global network of more than 1,750 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development, and supported by the Stiftung Mercator, a German foundation committed to solidarity and equal opportunities.

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