Climate Alliance Declaration


Climate Alliance Declaration 
of the members of the climate alliance

Adopted by the General Assembly on 17 May 2000 in Bolzano / Italy 

By signing the Climate Alliance Manifesto, 
we, the European cities and municipalities in the Climate Alliance, have set ourselves ambitious goals for the protection of the climate and have committed ourselves to preserving the rainforests and supporting the indigenous peoples of the Amazon region. At the beginning of the new millennium, the Climate Alliance looks back on ten years' work and recognises the need for appraisal. 

Hundreds of European municipalities have already joined the Climate Alliance. In many cases, our efforts go beyond those of nation states. Based on individual, technically-oriented climate protection measures, we have, through motivation and coordination, further developed our strategy to include private consumers, associations and businesses. In reporting our experience, we can prove that through our campaigns, we have achieved considerable advancement in many climate-related areas. Conditions in the areas of energy and transport, which are defined by national and international climate protection policies, have, however, seen a negative development so that climate protection results fall far short of our expectations. 

This makes us all the more committed to halving CO2 emissions. It is evident that in the long-run, a greater reduction in greenhouse gas emissions will be necessary in order to avoid disastrous changes in the global climate. In addition, for us as well as for all those municipalities that will join us in the future, short and midterm goals which can be achieved within the current framework conditions are crucial. We commit ourselves to exploit our scope for action to reduce CO2 emissions in the available fields of action. Moreover, we will advocate radical improvements of the relevant framework conditions. Such improvements are essential if the targets of the Climate Alliance are to be achieved. 

We have joined an alliance with the indigenous peoples of the rainforests and share their belief that prudent protection of the last rainforests on earth is only possible with the help and involvement of their inhabitants. In exchanges with our allies, we have learnt that we should not perceive the indigenous peoples as mere "keepers of the forests", but must consider the entire scope of their concerns. 

The indigenous peoples are already receiving more recognition and respect at both national and international levels. But the continued destruction of their means of existence has yet to be halted. 

With this declaration, we want to augment our existing commitments with the experience we have since gained. This declaration stands for hope - hope that an adequate quality of life on all the continents of our planet will be possible for future generations.

The Context 

Our aims and our willingness to take responsibility as local actors for global environment problems were confirmed by the results of the UNCED Conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. We are committed to an idea of sustainability which combines environmental concerns with local ecological and economical issues as well as with the questions of social justice and human rights. In view of continuing trends towards globalisation, we wish to emphasise the importance of both cultural and local diversity in the quality of life on our planet. We view this not least as opportunity to develop autonomous approaches to solving the pressing environmental problems of our time. 

The Goals 

Effective climate protection calls for a reduction in all greenhouse emissions, which is the subject of the Kyoto and Montreal Protocols1 . In the mid-term, we are striving for more rigorous reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gases than those agreed to by the industrial states. The long-term goal for our cities and towns is a climate-friendly per capita value for greenhouse gas emissions. 

We support indigenous rainforest peoples in their endeavours to exercise their basic rights. These include the right to be recognised as peoples with traditional territories, the right to self-determination and the right to live in their natural environment.

We want to contribute to the conservation of tropical forests and their biological diversity within the framework of possibilities for municipal action. This also serves climate protection, which requires both conservation and expansion of biological CO2 sinks and, at the same time, a reduction in man-made greenhouse gas emissions at source. 

1The Kyoto Protocol refers to carbon dioxid (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluoro-carbons (PFCs), and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).The Montreal Protocol includes fully and partially halogenated hydrochlorofluorocarbons (CFCs and HCFCs), and halons.

Fields of Activity and Measures: 

In climate protection, we will undertake the following: 

For us, support of the indigenous peoples means: 

We aim to contribute to tropical forest conservation by: 

  • Abstaining in municipal procurement from tropical timber derived from destructive logging or primary tropical forests; we further recommend abstaining from timber derived from destructive logging or primary forests in other climatic zones. 

  • Supporting and implementing other policies and measures for the protection of the rainforests and their biological diversity which guarantee the rights of the people living in the forests, particularly the indigenous peoples. This includes internationally recognised, verifiable and independent certification of timber produced by ecologically and socially acceptable forest management systems, and sustainable use of other forest products that contribute to the quality of life of the indigenous communities. 

Giving consideration to the special conditions of each member municipality, we will agree on a common approach concerning municipal climate protection and North-South cooperation, with a view to further developing our approach in the future: 

  • Drawing up short- and mid-term targets as well as sectoral targets in the various fields of activity which enable monitoring of progress. 

  • Establishing and implementing municipal action programmes which use the Climate Alliance's catalogue of measures as a guideline. 

  • Agreement on a monitoring system to assess progress towards our objectives, in particular instruments for the inventorisation of CO2 emissions and a set of further indicators for monitoring. 

  • Strengthened efforts to influence European and national policy-making bodies as well as the international community for the implementation of our goals.