Whether at the national or international level: ambitious climate action goals cannot be met without engaged municipalities. However, representatives in municipal administrations and in the citizenry need support and opportunities for networking and sharing of knowledge and experiences if they are to engage in effective climate action. This form of support is indispensable, especially for small, financially and structurally weak municipalities. This is where the districts may take on a special role, functioning as initiators, motivators, and moderators for their constituent municipalities and coordinate diverse public institutions, interest groups, and initiatives.
With the setting up of the National Climate Initiative (NKI) 2008, its Municipal Directive (KRL) and the International Conference on Climate Action (ICCA2015), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety BMUB) has repeatedly commended the importance of municipal climate action. The project “Districts in the Lead!” mobilised German districts for municipal climate action.
adelphi had been commissioned to support selected districts still at the start of their climate action activities in designing and appreciating their possible role as multipliers. Specifically, adelphi was accompanying them in implementing direct and indirect greenhouse gas reduction measures and in establishing a structured climate action process for or with their constituent municipalities, institutions, and citizenries.
For this purpose, adelphi provided consulting services with the support of external partners, tailored to the specific needs of the participating districts. In this process, informational materials were developed, and roundtables, workshops, and trainings conceptualised and organised for district representatives. In addition, adelphi worked with the districts and further experts on developing new approaches to mobilising municipalities for climate action.
Finally, in order to support knowledge transfer, districts with a record of successfully developing and implementing climate action concepts and measures were brought in as mentors. The substance and findings of the project were disseminated beyond the directly involved districts via further dialogue formats, a practice-oriented guide, and public relations activities.