The ICLEI Action Fund will grant $7 million to civil society organisations and academic institutions in six European cities that are using different sources of data to implement inclusive climate actions.
Led by ICLEI Europe through grant funding from Google.org, the funding programme boosts data-based projects aimed at helping local governments to improve environmental quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and adapt to the effects of climate change.
In total, seven projects based in Barcelona (Spain), Dortmund (Germany), Glasgow (United Kingdom), Rome (Italy), Rotterdam (the Netherlands), and Stockholm (Sweden) will receive €1 million each to implement data-driven actions on energy poverty alleviation, energy-efficient buildings, renewable energy development, air quality management, and climate adaptation and resilience.
This is the second time that the ICLEI Action Fund boosts environmental data-driven action in Europe. From 2020-2022, the ICLEI Action Fund 1.0, supported by Google.org, granted €2.5 million to six non-profit and academic organisations in Berlin (Germany), Birmingham (United Kingdom), Copenhagen (Denmark), Hamburg (Germany), Nantes (France), and Oldham (United Kingdom).
Wolfgang Teubner, ICLEI’s regional director Europe, says: “The success of the Action Fund’s first phase enabled the launch of this second call for projects; we were pleased to receive 55 high-quality applications this round on a variety of topics.
“With such strong competition, it was hard to select only seven subgrantees in six European cities! We are confident that the chosen projects will bring innovation and launch data-driven actions that support inclusiveness and climate justice in each of the cities.”
The second round reinforces both ICLEI Europe and Google.org’s commitments to accelerating climate action to build more sustainable cities through technology and innovation, with Rowan Barnett, director Google.org, Europe, Middle East and Africa, stating: “Cities need to accelerate their local climate efforts in order to meet their ambitions within the critical time frame. There’s an urgent need to finance data and innovation for effective climate action, and public-private partnerships can help achieve this.
“That’s why, building on the success of the first ICLEI Action Fund, we are excited to support cities to deliver data-driven and innovative projects to accelerate progress towards a greener, more resilient Europe.”
The projects will start in spring 2023 and run for the next two years. Each project will be officially announced at local events throughout the course of the spring and summer. For more information about the projects’ six selected cities, see below (in alphabetical order):
Lucía Martín González, councillor for housing and renovation, Barcelona City Council, says: “The selected project will complement our Local Climate Strategy by strengthening the social policies that the city has been deploying through the Energy Advisory Centers (EACs).
“The project, through the development of a climate vulnerability index, will also provide the city with a better understanding of the areas most vulnerable to climate change, which will concurrently help us better design our energy retrofitting strategies from the perspectives of social justice and energy sovereignty.”
Dortmund, Germany (two projects):
Thomas Westphal, Mayor, City of Dortmund, says: “I am happy that two projects have been selected from Dortmund. Both projects will support the city in its climate goals as the cooperation of science, the municipality, and all citizens is key for successful implementation.
“The projects use innovative techniques to collect and merge current climate data with existing data. This process ensures that targeted measures for climate impact adaptation and energy consulting can be developed. The municipality supports the teams in the analyses and will consolidate the results in the city’s actions.”
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, says: “This is great news for Glasgow as the project will make a substantial contribution to our city’s work on sustainability. Our strong relationship with ICLEI is one of the most important legacies of hosting COP26, and this project will develop lessons on improving air quality to share with other cities in the ICLEI network.
“This work also reflects well on our partnership with local stakeholders on developing solutions for urban sustainability challenges, helping to enhance our city connections across academic, public, and community sectors.”
Michela Micheli, director of social and health policies department, City of Rome, says: “Promoting the development of the Renewable Energy Community is one of the priorities of Roma Capitale. Particular attention must be paid to the social aspect and accessibility for vulnerable families, so that the sharing of renewable energy is an opportunity for everyone.
“In synergy with other initiatives of the municipality to combat energy poverty, the selected project will offer an important contribution by putting in place tools and information resources to support citizens in the creation of Energy Communities.”
Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Chantal Zeegers, vice mayor climate, building and housing, Rotterdam, says: “In this project, supported by the ICLEI Action Fund, we are working together for a more energy efficient and sustainable Rotterdam. The use of data modelling provides insights in the current state of a building, and ultimately in opportunities to make it more sustainable.
“Working with local residents on energy efficiency will ensure solutions are appropriate for the neighbourhood and result in localised approaches and future proofed buildings. Ultimately, a lower energy bill is the effect, impacting every Rotterdammer directly.”
Anna Hadenius, director of the environment and health department, City of Stockholm, says: “It is great news that a project from the City of Stockholm has been selected by the ICLEI Action Fund. As one of a hundred Climate Neutral Cities, the City of Stockholm is determined to foster a good life for all together with its citizens, businesses, and academia.
“The use of digital tools the selected project offers is essential for the city to achieve climate mitigation and climate adaptation measures as well as to understand how the two are linked. The City of Stockholm looks forward to the fruitful collaboration with academia and civil society in this project.”
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