A holistic approach
Through the Climate Alliance, nearly 2,000 member municipalities and districts covering more than 25 European countries as well as a variety of regional governments, NGOs and other organisations are actively working to combat climate change. In terms of members, Climate Alliance is the largest European city network dedicated to climate action. Our members, ranging from small rural towns to cities with populations in the millions, accept climate change as a global challenge that requires local solutions.
This fact is demonstrated in Climate Alliance’s long tradition of promoting climate action both in European municipalities and with the indigenous peoples of the Amazon River basin, where local peoples have been practising sustainable forestry for millennia. Equipped with an intimate knowledge of their environment and a direct connection to realities on the ground, they are, much like local governments the world over, best positioned to put climate action into practice within their territories. For European municipalities, such action typically comes in the form of initiatives for renewable energies, energy efficiency or energy conservation. For indigenous communities, climate action typically revolves around safeguarding their forests and territorial rights. We at Climate Alliance thus pair an emphasis on ambitious municipal action in Europe with support for stewardship of the rainforests by the indigenous peoples who call it home.
Targets and action
Talk is good, real action is better. In addition to a commitment to climate justice via a partnership with indigenous peoples, each town, city and district joining Climate Alliance must pass a municipal resolution committing itself to continually cut greenhouse gas emissions, aiming for a 95% reduction by 2050 (as compared to 1990 levels). in line with IPCC recommendations. Additionally, member municipalities commit themselves to effective and sustainable climate action in accordance with the Climate Alliance principles. These goals paired with concrete reccomendations for real action distinguish the Climate Alliance network.
The growth of a movement
Climate Alliance was founded in 1990 when a group of 33 institutions comprised of 12 municipalities from Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as 6 indigenous organisations of the Amazon Basin met in Frankfurt, Germany, motivated take action against the climatic changes taking place. Our network has strong roots in the German speaking world, but its principles have drawn interest from municipalities across Europe from the very beginning. The Alliance now boasts representatives from almost all EU countries and has seen the opening of National Coordination offices to help support members in a total of six countries.
National Coordination Offices provide support for and help set the agenda with Climate Alliance members in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Luxembourg and Hungary. The National Coordination for German member cities, a source of many Climate Alliance offerings with an international reach, is based at the international headquarters of the Climate Alliance Secretariat in Frankfurt, Germany.