Together with partners
The main working tools of the UBC Commission on Environment are the projects addressing the focus areas of the UBC Sustainability Action Programme 2010-2015. The projects are carried out through working closely together with partners. Open house approach is actively used in linking with partners. In practice this means, that we welcome all partner organizations, other co-operation partners and stakeholders to shape the activities and implement the program together with us.
Other important methods are co-operation and external networking in various forums. UBC is actively involved in the European policy issues and at the Baltic Sea region through various working groups.
Globally, the UBC is co-operating with the Local Authorities of Lake Victoria Region in Africa. This co-operation is part of a large Swedish-lead co-operation initiative and is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). The wide partnership between the UBC and the Lake Victoria Region Local Authorities Co-operation (LVRLAC) covers several fields of development of network activities. More about this at LVRLAC project page and LVRAC own website.
At the European level
The major European level initiative, where we are strongly involved, is the European Sustainable Cities and Towns Campaign. This initiative currently involves over 2.500 European local authorities and eight leading European local government organizations, the UBC being one of these. The UBC President Per Bødker Andersen is representing the UBC at the Political Board of the Campaign, and Head of Secretariat of the UBC Commission on Environment Mr. Björn Grönholm in the Steering Committee. www.sustainable-cities.eu/
The European Union is leading the global fight against climate change, and has made it a top priority. Its ambitious targets are spelt out in the EU Climate Action and Energy Package , which commits Member States to curb their CO2 emissions by at least 20% by 2020. Signatories of the Covenant of Mayors contribute to these policy objectives through a formal commitment to go beyond this target through the implementation of their Sustainable Energy Action Plan.
Since its launch in 2008, the initiative has grown to include more than 1 800 towns and cities. Together these signatories are working towards a cleaner and greener future for their citizens.
The Covenant of Mayors will be supported by so-called supporting structures: one kind of supporting structures are networks of local and regional authorities that commit to improve the Covenants’ impact by promoting the initiative, liaising with their members, facilitating exchange of experience and defending common interest in the adequate fora.
UBC has signed the commitment to become a supporting structure in June 2010.
Currently (July 2010) 30 UBC member cities have signed the Covenant of Mayors.
The project LG Action “Networking action to involve Local Governments in the European Union and international energy and climate debate” aims to:
- provide information to Local Governments (LGs) on the need for local climate and energy action,
- support mobilising and networking of LGs, linking them to the international and European climate and energy debate
- support positioning of LGs in the European and international energy and climate debate,
- and conduct advocacy on their behalf, drawing attention to the essential role local governments play in local climate protection and sustainable energy roll-out in communities.
This project is also linked to the international Local Government Climate Roadmap, and has a particular focus on the EU-27, Croatia, Liechtenstein and Norway. Results will be used to draw attention to the important role of local governments in climate protection and sustainable energy, as well as highlighting their needs, challenges and opportunities (on a per country basis, general European trends identified). The project supports reaching the climate and energy targets set for the European Union and national governments, and will also assist the Covenant of Mayors and organisations that work with local governments..
The project is led by ICLEI and its consortium includes Local Government Denmark, The Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and sustainable Resource management (ACR+), The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) and the Italian Local Agenda 21 Associa-tion (CA21L).
UBC has signed a letter of support for the initiative and is an associate of the Local Goverrnment Ac-tion project.
In the Baltic Sea Region
In the Baltic Sea Region, we are contributing to Baltic 21 (Inter-governmental and multi-stakeholder Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region) by active membership in the coordinating body (Senior Officials Group, SOG) and by being the Responsible Actor for implementing Baltic 21 in cities (Joint Action 4, City co-operation and sustainable development issues in cities and local communities). UBC EnvCom is also leading the Baltic 21 Ad-hoc working group on Urban Rural development.
Several of our projects have received the lighthouse status in the Baltic 21 – NewHansa, BUSTRIP and Sustainment.
Another, as important, political process in the Baltic Sea Region is the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM, Commission for the Protection of the Baltic Sea Marine Ecosystem). In HELCOM, we are representing our members in the Program Implementation Task Force (PITF), as well as in the overall commission with an observer status.
UBC EnvCom is also actively supporting the work of the Nordic Baltic Aalborg Commitments Network. During year 2007-2008 the Secretariat was hosting the network together with the Association of Finnish local and regional authorities.