Conference: Make Climate Visions become reality!
Gallery: 17 Pictures
Lauch of "Alpine Partnership for local climate action (ALPACA)" (© CIPRA International,Caroline Begle)

Conference: Make Climate Visions become reality!

The vision of reducing greenhouse gases and thus limiting climate change is global - but it is at the local level that visions become reality.

Global warming is clearly noticeable in the Alpine region. At the conference "Make climate visions become reality", which took place from 7 to 8 November in Innsbruck/A, local actors from the Alps presented their ideas for joint climate protection. The conference was organized by the international networks "Alliance in the Alps", CIPRA International and "Alpine Town of the Year". Cities, municipalities and network organizations have joined forces to promote climate protection at the local level. Before the conference started, the participants had the chance to visit best-practice examples in Innsbruck regarding energy efficiency.

The conference also saw the launch of the "Alpine Partnership for Local Climate Action (ALPACA)" on the first day. The partnership aims at supporting cities, municipalities and local stakeholders to take concrete action for climate protection in 7 Alpine countries. This shall be achieved among others by a better co-operation and networking of existing municipality-oriented co-operation structures and networks in the field of climate protection and energy efficiency in the Alpine countries. ALPACA was initiated by the Alpine Convention and approved by the Contracting Parties at the 2016 Alpine Conference. Martin Waldhausen of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment supports the initiative: "At the conference we saw that there are enough good ideas. The aim is to spread these ideas and encourage exchange. That's why we need a platform like ALPACA."

Climate change cannot wait!

The situation is alarming: climate change is unstoppable, warnings have become commonplace, and the need for action is becoming increasingly urgent. This was stressed by Lučka Kajfež Bogataj, Professor of Climatology at the University of Ljubljana, in the first presentation of the conference. Among others, she proposes to seek synergies between adaptation and mitigation of climate impacts, for example in the field of green infrastructure. Anna Stetter from B.A.U.M Consultant GmbH then spoke about how cooperation can overcome the obstacles to energy system transformation in the Alps. A panel discussion focused on local and regional success stories from the Alpine region.

On the second day of the conference, the participants discussed practical implementation possibilities in various working groups. They developed first approaches for joint actions to be implemented under ALPACA in 2019. Specifically, three topics were worked on:

  • How can municipalities implement practical mutualisation solutions in the field of energy?
  • How can energy and climate protection issues be better communicated (with municipalities)?
  • How can adaptation to climate change be achieved at local level?

For the municipalities and networks that are part of ALPACA, the next step is to exchange ideas, to cooperate, to find inspiration, to use synergies and to work together on ambitious goals and solutions for climate protection.

 

The Kick-Off Conference is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The opinions put forward in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).