European Capital Cities: Achievements and Outstanding challenges Report on UCEU surveyby Indrė Kleinaitė, NGO “Gyva LT” UCEU Conference “Cities of the Future”, Vilnius, 14 October 2011
Background • Each member city – 27 in total – received a Questionnaire of 13 questions • In order to explore members’ engagement on climate change mitigation and adaptation issues and to provide the basis for discussion, mutual learning and identification of outstanding challenges • Core questions about: - climate change adaptation and mitigation strategy - commitments and targets - share of renewable energy and goals for the future - investments made and planned - estimates of climate’s financial impacts on city’s budget - incentives for electric and hybrid cars - projects and initiatives - multi-city climate memberships and partnerships • No ranking and no comparisons, based on differently formatted information.
Basic information • Out of 27 members, 18 responses were received - a healthy 67 % response rate • Cities respondents: - Amsterdam, Athens - Brussels, Berlin, Bratislava, Bucharest - Dublin - Helsinki - Lisbon - Madrid - Nicosia - Riga, Rome - Stockholm - Tallinn - Vilnius, Vienna - Warsaw.
Key findings: the structure • Multi-city and local alliances • Strategies • Estimation of financial consequences • Measuring emissions and reduction targets • Renewable energy in the cities • Policies and practices • Financial mechanisms and investments • Communication activities • Conclusions and recommendations.
Multi-city initiatives and local alliances Most mentioned multi-city: • Covenant of Mayors (Riga, Tallinn, Stockholm, Helsinki, Amsterdam, Dublin, Madrid, Brussels, Warsaw, Lisbon, Rome and Berlin) • C40 (Stockholm, Amsterdam, Madrid, Warsaw, Athens, Rome, Berlin) • ICLEI (Stockholm, Helsinki, Amsterdam, Dublin, Warsaw, Rome, Berlin) Other multi-city: • Green Capital Global Challenge (the Carbon War Room City progamme) • The Carbon Disclosure Project Cities initiative • EUROCITIES • Metrex • Green Digital Charter • Civitas. Local alliances: • Voluntary agreement with main stakeholders in lower emissions in Rome • Berlin climate alliance with main economy players.
Strategies • Some form of climate change mitigation and adaptation in most UCEU capitals • Sometimes it is part of a national plan (e.g. Nicosia, Vilnius, Tallinn, Bratislava, Bucharest) • More often it is city-specific (e.g. Vienna, Riga, Helsinki, Stockholm, Berlin, Rome) • Key themes: • improving environment • job creation • creating new economic growth • increasing energy security. • Adaptation is built into mitigation, but in most cases still an outstanding challenge • Riga, Lisbon and Amsterdam mentioned separate adaptation policies.
Estimation of financial consequences • A few respondents reported having carried out estimates of the potential financial impacts of changing climate on city budgets or relying on external data (e.g. Lisbon, Berlin, Athens) • A few of them reported plans to do so in the near future (e.g. Warsaw, Nicosia) • Overall, this is an outstanding challenge for the cities • Lisbon has done it part of the Lisbon Master Plan and it covers earthquakes, tsunamis and a “no buildings area” • Berlin reported that according to the estimate of German insurance companies the last decade brought damage of approximately € 18 billion and 7000 deaths on a national level. By 2050 the damage may potentially be € 137 billion • Athens reported that Bank of Greece has carried out certain calculations in relation to climate change and its potential financial impacts.
Measuring emissions and targets • Specific challenging GHG reduction targets and annual measurement (e.g. Stockholm, Helsinki, Amsterdam, Riga, etc.), many are planning to do so • Some are part of national target schemes • In 2009 Stockholm’s direct CO2 emissions were 3.4 t/capita, the goal for 2015 - 3 t/capita • In 2009 Amsterdam’s direct CO2 emissions were 6.3 t/capita; in 2005 Brussels - 7.8 t/capita; in 2007 Warsaw – 6.29 t/capita • Berlin lowered its CO2 emissions from 8.7 t/capita in 1990 to 5.9 t/capita in 2007. • Helsinki is calculating both direct and indirect emissions and is developing a carbon footprint calculation. Its target is to gradually reach a total of 100% reductions by 2050 from current levels, while intermediate goals are 20% before 2020 and 40% before 2040. • Riga reported a target of at least 40% before 2020 comparing to 1990.
Renewable energy in the cities • Many cities have data and have set targets; • Green public procurement examples (e.g. Stockholm, Brussels) • Stockholm intends to fuel transport with renewable fuels by 2050 100 percent • Helsinki’s target for renewable energy is 20 % by 2020 (in 2010 - 4.3 %) • Madrid’s and Warsaw’s targets are 20 % by 2020 • Riga aims at 10 % before 2015 • Manufacturing of solar energy technologies are booming in the metropolitan region of Berlin.
Policies and practices • Policies mainly cover either nationally or city-specific: - Increasing energy savings and efficiency in the buildings through scaling up the standards and subsidizing retrofitting - Increasing the share of renewable energy by public procurement, investment and subsidies - Investing in public transport, cycling and walking paths as well as energy efficient technologies (trams, lighting) - Investing in flood barriers, water/waste/drainage upgrades. • Most successful practices highlighted: - Renovation of public building and multi-apartment buildings - Employing local renewable energy - Investing in public transportation and clean vehicles - Developing new low-carbon districts, smart grids and low energy houses - Promoting eco-living among citizens and eco-practices in private sector.
Low-carbon city districts Low-energy houses
Financial mechanisms and investments • Most cities demonstrate a certain level of concrete investments or incentive schemes; • A few examples: - Stockholm - € 1 billion for refurbishment of city’s owned buildings for 5 years. It invested in a new rail tunnel, two new tram lines, cycling and walking paths, in street lighting - Helsinki - € 42 million in transport in 2009 and € 36 million in 2010. € 3.9 million in cycling paths in 2010. New energy lighting - about € 20 million - Madrid - € 1.3 million in public transport, cycling and walking paths in 2008-2010, € 3.3 million in energy efficient technologies in public buildings and € 4.7 million in street lighting - Riga investing in storm water drainage system, in public buildings retrofitting, public transport and cycling paths - Lisbon - in cycling paths, in public swimming pools with solar energy, street lighting, etc.
Financial mechanisms and investments • A few examples (continued): - Athens has a scheme of interest free loan and direct subsidies up to 35 % depending on income level on national level to promote energy efficiency in private buildings - Lisbon has special financial benefits for buildings with A and A+ energy class performance - Warsaw - € 1 billion in the expansion of underground by 2014, purchased trams, train sets and buses for € 770 million - Free or reduced parking for electric cars and low emission vehicles (e.g. Tallinn, Helsinki, Nicosia) - Installing charging point schemes (e.g. Amsterdam, Madrid, Warsaw, Lisbon) - Funding scheme for e-bikes and conversion of vehicles into electronic (e.g. Vienna).
Communication activities • Lisbon (number of events by special agency, annual budget - €100 000) • Warsaw (in 2008 Climate Protection Team established) • Helsinki (launched Climate info center in 2010) • Nicosia (Environmental Action Week, partners with “Earth Hour”& WWF) • Dublin (has a special communications partner and special officials with public outreach functions) • Vienna (e.g. working a lot with media) • Athens (e.g. “door to door” campaigns on recycl.) • Amsterdam (e.g. annual event “Amsterdam Sustainable”)
Conclusions • All respondents demonstrate a clear concern about climate change issues and have in place policies and actions addressing actual and predicted impacts; • There is recognition that climate change will require continuing long term attention and that policies will need to continue to evolve; • Most attention is directed to win/win approaches targeting climate change mitigation (e.g. reducing emissions) with the benefits of increased energy efficiency and security and reduced costs (e.g. insulation, green transportation). There is somewhat less attention to specific adaptation issues. • There are differences between the level of resourcing and overall priority given to climate change, often reflecting city size and capacity. • Some capitals demonstrate more ambitious mitigation goals and seem to have prioritized climate change as a challenge as well as an opportunity to create better living environments for their citizens, while others are in the process of focusing and moving climate change higher in the agenda.
Recommendations • Looking at the data cities shared the following outstanding challenges emerge: - More attention to adaptation issues; - Mapping city-specific climate risks; - Estimating city-specific financial impacts of climate change; - Balancing climate science and politics when setting the goals; - Exercising care when labeling (e.g. urban waste incineration as renewable energy); - More sense of urgency to take necessary actions now; - Systems approach to delivering solutions (creating incentives, building long term infrastructure and capacity to deliver sustainable solutions).
For aspiration: become… Charles Landry, Author: The best cities for the world as opposed to the best cities in the world.
Issues for further discussions • Do we have a good framework for sharing experiences/learning? How well to existing initiatives (ICLEI, C40, CDP, GCGC, etc.) work in this respect? What else could be done to improve? • Do we have transparent data and common metrics for understanding/interpreting meaning of targets and effectiveness of policies? What else could be done to improve? • Are we giving sufficient priority to adaptation issues? If not, what needs more attention? • How well are we doing in building public awareness and support, and what needs to be done further? • Much of the financial model is built on public debt (loans, subsidies, tax breaks, grants, etc.) How sustainable is this and what can be done differently to mobilise the necessary capital?