Tuesday, 17 May 2022  |  Reading time:  12 mins  | Read online

The Malmö Summit – reporting from the ICLEI World Congress

Last week we attended the global sustainability conference to bring you content and coverage of conversations, themes, lessons, and global examples.

Last week, Global Local team members were at the ICLEI Congress – an international gathering of local governments supporting sustainability. It was both inspirational and deeply pragmatic, with not only examples of leadership in technical or infrastructure solutions but also heavy emphasis on social inclusion and community participation. Councils around the world are focusing on how to improve the lives of their communities sustainably and how to deal with the effects of climate change by working with citizens and their democratically elected leaders. 

Every place faces a unique set of challenges, but there will always be problems common to another council somewhere in the world, enabling us to build solutions together. 

This week, we drew on inspiration and resources from the conference to bring you up to speed with some of the current thinking and news in municipality-led sustainability. This week, we particularly loved the initiatives for social inclusion in climate planning in South Asia and Recife's (Brazil) initiatives as a recognised Resilience Hub. Don't forget to register for our related post-conference discussion panel 'The road to net zero' taking place 19 May

Click the button below view LGIU coverage and content along the conference themes on our website.

Event: The road to net zero – 19 May
Following LGIU’s participation in the Malmö Summit, this event brings together political and local government experts to discuss reaching net zero and the role of councils, identify common action points, and and learn about some of the best examples globally (10am BST). 
Click here to register or find out more.

What is the Local Government Information Unit?
We are a non-profit, non-partisan organisation for anyone with a passion for local democracy and finding local solutions to global challenges.
Click here to find out more about Global Local from LGIU

This week's featured content

Social inclusion in climate resilience planning

By Melissa Thorne, LGIU

In this article, Melissa Thorne shares highlights and lessons from a memorable session of the Malmö Summit which focused on the value of integrating social inclusion into climate resilience planning.

The Climate & Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) is a demand-driven network that provides training for climate change resilience and planning across Asia, Africa and Latin America. Their consultations at COP24 showed the need for training on gender mainstreaming in climate action.

Mairi Dupar, from the Overseas Development Institute, explained how the CDKN’s work started with gender and quickly became intersectional. She said gender issues are too often seen as a tick box exercise at project proposal stage and not followed through, implemented or evaluated effectively.

“Women’s issues” are frequently undervalued or dismissed within climate resilience planning. However, gender-blind planning can lead to maladaptation, as it does not take into account the varied climate risks imposed on different groups by their intersecting needs. It can also ignore the different strengths, skills and knowledge that women and other marginalised groups can offer to climate planning processes.

CDKN’s knowledge programme tracks examples of failures as well as successes to highlight the pitfalls of non-inclusive climate resilience planning. Technical climate expertise does not necessarily mean that decision makers have knowledge of gender-related issues or how to integrate socially inclusive climate solutions. As a result, CDKN has adapted its training processes to highlight why a gender approach is needed before presenting socially inclusive climate solution options.

Techniques to amplify the voices of women and other climate vulnerable groups include highlighting first-hand climate change testimonies through blogs, witness trips where possible, and documentary films. CDKN has trained women to use video and ICT equipment to record their stories and share the impacts they face with a wider audience. CDKN also uses “serious fun games” with decision makers that promote empathy and understanding, by allowing practitioners to imagine and discuss how climate change impacts different people in affected communities and design ways to include them in climate action.

LGIU Global Local Highlights


The Malmö Summit: A short personal reflection
In this blog, Ingrid Koehler reflects on her experience at the Malmö Summit, exploring the key role of local governments globally in sustainability action and the challenges they have to overcome to develop innovative policies.
Click here to read this blog.

Hawaii’s biodiesel production supports circular economy model
Kelly Takaya King, Maui County councilmember and co-founder of Pacific Biodiesel, spoke at the ICLEI Malmö Summit on some of the ambitious local climate action planning happening in Hawaii. In this blog for LGIU, she reflects on her experience at COP26 and explores the role of biofuels in supporting a circular economy.
Click here to read this article.

Global Local Executive Panel – July 2022: Biodiversity Planning and Green Spaces
On Thursday 28 July 2022 join LGIU, the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) and a panel of council Chief Executives from across the globe as we discuss planning for biodiversity and creating green spaces in urban areas.
Register your interest here.

Innovation & Inspiration

This week, we took inspiration from the ICLEI conference, with news and case studies coming directly from speakers and presentations.


Brazil: Climate-vulnerable city becomes Resilience Hub
Recife, Brazil, has been recognised as the fourth Making Cities Resilient 2030 Resilience Hub in the Americas and the Caribbean. Given the vulnerability of Recife’s population to climate change hazards, the city placed emphasis on participatory processes as it defined its pathway to a low carbon future through the Urban-LEDS project. Deputy Mayor Isabella de Roldão represented the city at the ICLEI Malmö Summit to outline some of the initiatives ongoing, including: exclusive roads for public transport; removing single-use plastic in municipal operations; women-led recycling cooperatives; a system of integrated parks to transform Recife into a park-city for walking and cycling; and 100% renewable energy in city-wide operations by 2037.

Global: Young people ask for seat at decision-making table
In 2018, a group of high school students attended a public meeting held by the City of Olympia, Washington, USA, and criticised their climate policies – awarding them a ‘C-‘ on the Youth Climate Report Card. Since then, the council has involved young people in all climate discussions and hiring decisions, hired their first Climate Program Manager, brought forward a ‘Climate Inheritance Resolution’ committing the city to net zero by 2040, and started a paid internship scheme for students with local higher learning institutions. Speaking at the same panel, Kenyan youth climate advocates Zipporah Njenga and Juliet Oluoch urged local governments to avoid “youthwashing” by involving young people in decision-making from planning to implementation, encouraged cities to get involved with youth climate conferences, and stressed the value of education to allow young people to express their ideas.
ICLEI World Congress 2022

South Africa: Climate action seen as transformative opportunity for region
Gauteng Province
is the smallest but most populous South African province – home to over 20 million officially, with more people undocumented. The province hopes to significantly improve basic services and tackle unrest over migration and severe inequalities. The region is heavily reliant on coal for electricity. Deputy Director General Dorah Modise explained that the $8.5 billion International Just Energy Transition Partnership to decarbonise South Africa’s economy is seen locally as a transformation opportunity. Regional cooperation with African sister cities could help to co-create engaging just transition opportunities. The province seeks to create off-grid renewable energy through private sector partnerships, including green hydrogen in industrial zones, and remediate land damaged by mining.
European Commission

Australia: Just transition sought for coal centre despite challenges
The City of Newcastle contains one of the world’s largest coal export ports, but has been pursuing climate action for more than 20 years. Local people have been strongly involved in climate processes to ensure a just transition for the coal-reliant region, which previously faced a local industry transition from steel to professional services. The city is now supplied by 100% renewable energy and has established a pathway to net zero by 2030 for city emissions. The city seeks to transfer the substantial local energy knowledge base from fossil fuels to renewable energies such as green hydrogen and offshore wind.
ICLEI Oceania – Twitter

Policy & Resources

Resources: Project Preparation Resource Directory
The Project Preparation Resource Directory helps subnational governments and stakeholders identify project preparation facilities that can support them in developing green and resilient infrastructure, including implementing more efficient heating and cooling systems, building renewable energy, setting up sustainable transit, or climate-proofing resilient infrastructure.

Guide: Science-Based Climate Targets: A guide for cities
This guide by C40 is designed to help cities understand and adopt science-based climate targets, covering what they are, how to choose a methodology, and how to join the UNFCCC’s Race to Zero. It also provides a series of technical resources, tools, and examples of city targets and plans.

Framework: Circular Cities Action Framework
This user-friendly ICLEI actions framework supports local governments with the transition from a linear to circular economy. It is structured around five complementary approaches – rethink, regenerate, reduce, reuse and recover – that contribute to a circular economy and highlights effective global case studies for each approach.

Briefings: Bundle: ICLEI World Congress 2022, Malmö, Sweden
This bundle compiles examples of briefings and articles from LGIU along each theme of the ICLEI World Congress 2022 Summit in Malmö, Sweden. 

Thanks for reading!

Next week, we'll be looking at the impact of anchor institutions in place-based economic development and strengthening communities.

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