Sunny Greifswald greets the Commission meeting

Sunny Greifswald greets the Commission meeting

6 May 2022
Group photo of the meeting participants on the steps of the City hall
13 May 2022

It’s not like we stopped meeting each other over the pandemic years – but the physical meetings just work differently. A chance to revitalise direct contacts, exchange brewing innovative ideas and compare experiences finally caught up with us and brought the Sustainable Cities Commission meeting to Greifswald!

The UBC Sustainable Cities Commission meeting, held on 27-28 April 2022 in the City of Greifswald, was opened by the Lord Mayor of Greifswald Dr. Stefan Fassbinder, highlighting the importance of international cooperation and local implementation of SDGs. The high-level greetings were followed with the view on the Baltic Sea Region from the global prism brought by the co-writers of the latest IPCC report. The researchers Prof. Dr. Andreas Loeschel and Prof. Dr. Hans Joosten looked at the role of cities in climate protection, the uniting factors in BSR and what should be done in the next years to reduce the energy dependency and lower the global warming perspective to 1.5 degrees. This in-depth strategic and scientific opening of the meeting set-up the basis for further presentations of local excellence.

During two days, the rich meeting programme highlighted several selected focuses of the urban sustainability discussions: energy-efficient construction, climate adaptation and mobility, paired with strategic goals and monitoring of their progress. Along these topics, the host city of Greifswald exemplified its local best practices placing the city amongst the regional forerunners in sustainability-oriented city visions. Representatives of over 15 BSR cities took part in the discussions, with altogether 9 cities presenting concrete solutions and decision-making breakthroughs enabling green transformation.

UBC is a network uniting its cities in the result-oriented action and providing local governments with opportunities for dynamic development based on shared experiences and best practices. To make the cooperation even more efficient, UBC Sustainable Cities Commission directly cooperates with key regional and global actors providing unified tools for monitoring climate action. Two initiatives joined the event to inspire cities to disclose their progress: CDP and Green City Accord. The senior manager of CDP Europe Étienne Métais shared the latest updates from the steady UBC-CDP cooperation: the freshly published report on 2021 activities highlights the important trends. The senior coordinator in ICLEI, Barbara Anton presented the Green City Accord initiative, encouraging those cities that haven’t joined yet, to consider its multiplication force.

Many UBC member cities already cooperate with these initiatives, demonstrating great results (f.ex. 7 UBC members were included in the global CDP 2021 A-List of disclosing cities!). We aim to support even more cities joining such processes and communicating about the benefits of these actions. As our vision 2030 is now shaped in the UBC Sustainability Action Programme, globally-applied tools like CDP or GCA reporting allow our network to efficiently monitor the progress of our cities, benchmark the local performance in connection to global peers, and evaluate the joint efforts in climate actions.