How to mainstream climate projects into local governance frameworks

Event Summary

The second online event of the Climate Policy Meets Urban Development (CPMUD) series focused on how climate projects can be mainstreamed into cities’ governance frameworks. For this session, the GIZ project invited two experts to present to an international audience how Germany’s national support programmes address municipalities’ needs in implementing local climate protection measures.

The National Climate Initiative: the national support mechanism leveraging local climate action

Natalie Eichler, who is a Policy Officer at the German Environment Ministry (BMU), briefly introduced the National Climate Initiative (NCI), Germany’s long-standing support mechanism for local climate action.

Between the 2008 and 2019, the mechanism supported around 32,500 projects with around 1.07 billion EUR which led to 3.5 billion EUR of additional investments. In total, the projects are estimated to have resulted in emission savings of 28 million tons of CO2 over the same time frame.

Furthermore, Ms Eichler explained the NCI’s multiple links to the regional and local level within the German federal governance system. A key institution is the Service and Competence Center for Municipal Climate Mitigation (SK:KK) which is located at the German Institute for Local Affairs acting at the critical juncture between the national, regional and local level.

The city of Heidelberg: striving for climate neutrality by 2050

Following that, Ralf Bermich, Head of the Energy and Climate Protection Department at the City of Heidelberg, shared practical insights from the city perspective. Heidelberg is one of 18 German model municipalities that receive NCI funding in order to develop and implement a master plan on how to achieve near climate neutrality by 2050. Mr. Bermich spoke about what municipalities need for effective local climate protection and gave concrete examples of how the city implements innovative mobility systems, green district heating systems or energy efficiency standards.

Another interesting example to follow up on is the city district of Heidelberg-Bahnstadt that had been transformed from a freight and switch yard into a Passive House and Zero-Emission neighbourhood.

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