EEA and ICLEI joined forces to organize the 3rd Open European Day (OED), taking place on the 5th July, back-to-back with the Bonn Resilient Cities Conference.
The successful interactive OED format is enriched and enhanced to ensure valuable experience exchange between climate adaptation practitioners of both “forerunner” and “beginner” cities and with key adaptation players. Contributions by institutions supporting urban adaptation development and scientists are tailored around specific inputs to respond to key leading questions from city representatives.
In Addition, the OED Marketplace is an adaptation information hotspot and offer further exchange opportunities.
The thematic focuses of this year reflect the needs flagged by participants in the past editions and revolve around cutting-edge adaptation solutions and trends.
•Climate services, involving the production, transfer and use of climate knowledge, but also tools, methods and instruments to enable climate-informed decision-making. Climate services are increasingly important to support cities in becoming climate-resilient.
•Nature-based solutions, providing numerous benefits to cities and their inhabitants.
•Mainstreaming adaptation by integrating different local planning processes and exploiting co-benefits and opportunities for combining climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.
•Financing adaptation as a means of making good adaptation solutions viable and of creating a window of opportunity for change in cities will be a cross-cutting theme during the event and be reflected upon in the sessions on topical themes.
Breakout session Green Climate Cities at 8th European Conference Sustainable Cities and Towns
Today, many cities, towns and regions actively plan and achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions and adapt to climate change. They have been crucial in raising ambition at the global level, also showing the impact of their efforts. Their role remains clear: catalyzing new action and leading the transition to a more sustainable future.
There are two key initiatives that help local governments make firm commitments and report on their progress, namely the Compact of Mayors and the Covenant of Mayors. Each initiative was designed to be unique, but there are also many similarities. These initiatives and how local governments benefit from them will be explored in this session.
The Compact of Mayors is a global coalition of mayors and city officials committing to reduce GHGs, enhance resilience to climate change and track their progress publicly. It is an agreement by city networks – and then by their members – to fight climate change in a consistent and complimentary manner to national efforts. The Compact of Mayors was launched in 2014 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Michael R. Bloomberg, under the leadership of the world’s global city networks – C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) – with support from UN-Habitat, the UN’s lead agency on urban issues. The Compact establishes a common platform to capture the impact of cities’ collective actions through standardized measurement of emissions and climate risk, and consistent, public reporting of their efforts.
The Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy brings together thousands of local and regional authorities voluntarily committed to implementing the European Union (EU) climate and energy objectives on their territory. New signatories now pledge to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030 and to adopt an integrated approach to tackling mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
How do these two initiatives differ and where are they similar? What are the synergies between these initiatives? What can they offer to local governments across the globe? These questions will be explored in a dynamic, interactive session.
Towards decarbonised and resilient cities: The Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy
Side-event organised by the Mayors Adapt Office and the European Committee of the Regions in the European Habitat Conference in Prague
Rapporteur Kata Tutto participated and delivered a speech
Andres Jaadla (EE/Keskerakond), ALDE coordinator of the ENVE commission and the initiator of Covenant of Mayors (CoM) in Estonia, participated in a CoM workshop in Nairobi organised by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR). He was invited to share best practices as „ Ambassador of the Covenant of Mayors „ in the field of sustainable energy action and introduce the work done in Estonia in general and his hometown Rakvere in particular. Attended by mayors from a number of African countries, the workshop addressed the opportunities and challenges faced by smaller cities and towns when achieving energy saving conditions foreseen in the Covenant. Whereas larger cities have the economic prowess and human resources to fulfil the requirements, smaller cities are much faster in the implementation phase. "The example of Rakvere clearly shows that small and medium-sized cities are capable of achieving remarkable results, and not only in Europe. One simply has to be brave and eager", said Jaadla.
Andres Jaadla, was the Mayor of Rakvere from 2002 to 2012. A number of world-renowned energy-saving and environmental projects were launched during his tenure as Mayor, most notably the first so-called zero-energy house in Estonia.
European Parliament event organized by MEP Simona Bonafé, Long Term Investment and Reindustrialisation Intergroup. Rapporteur Kata Tutto was a speaker
High-level speakers from EU institutions and local and regional authorities – e.g. European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic, CoR President Markku Markkula and ICLEI Vice-President, Durban Mayor, James Nxumalo – launch the Global Covenant initiative. They were joined by Francesco Pigliaru, Chair of the Committee of the Regions' Commission for Environment, Climate Change and Energy and President of Sardinia Region, Italy, Bernard Soulage, co-chair of the steering committee of the World Summit Climate and Territories and member of the Committee of the Regions and Kata Tüttő, Budapest Councillor, CoR rapporteur on the Future of Covenant of Mayors.
ENVE Thematic Planning: Covenant of Mayors (COR-2015-05628-00-00-TCD-TRA) Thematic debate with the participation of ENVE rapporteur Kata Tütto (HU/PES), Jan Pánek, Head of Unit, DG ENER, European Commission and Frédéric Boyer (Energy Cities), Head of CoM Brussels Office. The opportunity to set up the CoR Friends of the Covenant was discussed. The European Commission and the Covenant of Mayors office widely supported this initiative.