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11 July 2019

Climate conference sparks German Mayors to call on the national government to provide greater support for climate action

This week, Cologne (Germany) joined forces with ICLEI Members Heidelberg, Bonn, and Freiburg (Germany) to write a letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel on behalf of German cities. The letter, which was co-led by ICLEI, Energy Cities, and the Climate Alliance, seeks national support for climate action.

In the letter, the mayors of these four German cities – who are also the Presidents or Chairs of the Climate Alliance, Energy Cities and ICLEI networks – propose a strategic partnership with the federal government on the basis of permanent exchange. The federal government is called on to create good framework conditions for local climate protection, including further and adapted financing for climate action. Other specific demands in the letter include the introduction of climate protection as a compulsory task at all political levels, setting a passive house standard for buildings, and establishing a tax on CO2 emissions.

The letter was conceived of at the International Conference on Climate Action (ICCA2019), which convened in Heidelberg (Germany) on 22-23 May. The event highlighted the importance of “collaborative climate action,” meaning action that includes communication, coordination and cooperation across government levels, sectors, and stakeholder groups.

Through its sessions and outcomes, the conference made clear the crucial importance of having framework conditions that allow cities and municipalities to exercise their role as players in the field of climate action and sustainable development. Such framework conditions range from access to expertise, to financial resources, to regulatory conditions.

Regions, cities, towns and communities are at the core of a global climate movement. With their economic and innovation potential, as well as their engagement with citizens and stakeholders, sub-national actors can develop and shape low-emission economic practices and resilient infrastructures, as well as social systems and lifestyles. At the same time, decisive leadership and strong support of national governments is essential.

ICLEI was invited to present the C-Track 50 project at the ICCA, alongside presentations from other existing and new projects and initiatives on collaborative climate action. C-Track 50 aims to mobilise and guide public authorities at local and regional levels to achieve climate resilience and carbon neutrality by 2050. It focuses on strengthening cooperation between the EU and local, regional and national levels of governance, as well as on capacity building in integrated energy and climate policy planning, and supporting the development and financing of local sustainable energy and climate policy action plans.

For more information about the C-Track 50 project, click here.

Read the letter sent to Chancellor Merkel (in German) here.