Climate Partnerships

Ilustrační obrázek

„Climate partnerships are a way to draw new insights and inspiration across Europe. We will achieve carbon neutrality faster by communicating with each other and, no doubt, by sharing our own experiences internationally. In this respect, we are not only seeking partnerships with European capitals, but also with global companies that can also make a significant contribution to the common goal. Indeed, climate cooperation should take place at all levels.” FotoMartin Bursík, Chair of the Prague City Council Committee on Sustainable Energy and Climate

By accepting the climate pledge, Prague positioned itself among a group of cities which agreed to implement the ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement. From this stem a number of goals that should make the Czech capital a carbon-neutral metropolis by 2030. This ambitious plan reflects the growing trend of population shifts to cities, as evidenced by the European Union's estimate of 85% of the population living in cities by 2050. At the same time, metropolises are the centres of technological innovation and decarbonisation strategies, and therefore also leading figures in promoting a carbon-free future.

Leading initiatives promoting climate independence

There is a number of initiatives that share the vision of climate-responsible metropolises. Among the best known are:

  • Covenant of Mayors – in which Prague is also involved, is a European initiative for cities and municipalities introduced by the European Commission shortly after the approval of its first so-called Climate and Energy package in 2008. It seeks to bring an interest in increasing energy efficiency, long-term use of renewable energy sources, and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions to local government levels. Today, more than 10,000 cities from 61 countries, with a population of 334,000 are involved in the programme.
  • C40 Cities is a platform that has grown over time from initial 40 members to a collaboration of 97 global cities representing more than 700 million people – roughly one quarter of the total global economy. C40 supports cities in collaborating effectively, sharing knowledge, and implementing meaningful, measurable, and sustainable action on climate change. Its European members include Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, and others.
  • Race to Zero is a coalition joining 471 cities, 23 regions, 1,675 entrepreneurs, 85 representatives of major investors and 569 universities. Through their global campaign, the coalition is working towards guiding corporate, city, regional, and investment leaders on the path to carbon independence. The initiative was launched at UN's global climate conference in Chile and will be a major partner for its next meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, in November 2021.
  • The CNCA (Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance) was initiated in 2014 and currently brings together 19 of the world's leading cities from Berlin, Copenhagen, to London and Oslo. By cooperating and helping each other, these and other leading global cities aim to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% before 2050 or even sooner.
  • Proposed mission: 100 Climate-Neutral Cities by 2030 - by and for the citizens was initiated by the European Commission. This is a new progressive pathway based on the assumption that current traditional ways of governance will be replaced with more strategic advocacy for long-term climate investments. The Committee on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities has set out a mission to achieve climate neutrality in 100 cities by 2030, which could be followed by other European cities in the future. The active driving force behind the project will be the city residents, who can contribute to climate neutrality through their own initiatives.

Establishing climate partnerships

The Czech metropolis is working hard to establish cooperation with other cities that share the same goals. Thanks to a shared platform, individual cities will be able to form informal partnerships and inspire each other through sharing new ideas, best practices, and examples of implemented actions. There will be a gradual exchange of experience and expert dialogue, based on mutual communication and intermittent meetings at all levels - from the authors of climate strategies and those responsible for their implementation, to politicians promoting a shared vision of climate responsibility. At the same time, we aim to activate strategic partnerships with global corporations which can accelerate the implementation of the climate commitment through their climate-forward approach.

So far, relationships have been successfully established with leading cities such as Berlin, Copenhagen, London, Vienna, and Taipei. Exchange of information is taking place simultaneously with the leaders of V4 cities, i.e. Bratislava, Budapest, and Warsaw. It will now depend on the willingness and openness of these capitals to take concrete steps. The forthcoming World Climate Conference in Glasgow will also provide an excellent opportunity to deepen existing contacts and approach other potential partners.

The preliminary conditions for establishing climate partnerships with other cities are the following:

  1. The cities have approved climate commitments which align with the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report of 2019.
  2. The cities commit to mutual support in efforts to fulfil the aims of the climate pledge.
  3. The cities are prepared to share their policies, strategies, experience, examples of good practice, methods of leadership and other attributes of climate politics in the form of cooperation between experts, civil servants and politicians through webinars, workshops, and other smart online platforms.
  4. The cities will create a space for open partnership in exchange of expert information through informal consultations on all levels.
  5. The cities will actively create opportunities for joint participation in climate-related projects and programmes.
  6. The cities will inform each other about the involvement of business and other partners in their climate-forward efforts.
  7. The cities will cooperate on key climate summits.
  8. The climate partnership will be free of demands on the cities’ budget, except for covering the costs of its own politicians, experts, and officials when connected with the partnership.