Prioritizing climate emergency throughout the municipality

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

15:00 – 16:00 CEST (13:00 – 14:00 UTC)

All over the world, the number of climate emergencies is increasing. Urged by scientists and a growing sense of urgency in the public, over 2000 national, regional and local governments expressed their ambitions to take action publicly by declaring/acknowledging climate emergency, with many others following swiftly in upping their decarbonisation targetsor aiming for climate neutrality. More than a publicity stunt, this has been shown to have a positive effect on how measures and decisions are framed, with regards to their potential climate impact.

This also has an influence on day-to-day working practices within the city and can lead to a more harmonised approach to local policy-making under the umbrella of a climate emergency. This workshop will explore why and how cities are declaring climate emergencies. Specifically, we will look into how doing so can foster cooperation between different departments and how declaring a climate emergency could lead to more concrete and more ambitious action. At the same time, the session will consider why not all cities might chose to declare a climate emergency.

Examples will be provided from Covenant of Mayors signatory cities.


  • Giorgia Rambelli, Coordinator Climate Policy and Energy Governance, ICLEI European Secretariat, Coordinator International Dimension, Covenant of Mayors Office
  • Arthur Hinsch, Officer, ICLEI Europe, Covenant of Mayors Office
  • Silvia Assalini, Officer, ICLEI Europe, Covenant of Mayors Office
  • Risto Veivo, Climate Director, City of Turku, Finland
  • Ada Amon, Chief Advisor to the Mayor on Climate Affairs, City of Budapest, Hungary
  • Oliver Moran, Chair of Climate Action Committee and Deputy Lord Mayor, City of Cork, Ireland