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Bologna and Helsinki become ICLEI GreenClimateCities Europe Ambassadors

The European Urban-LEDS cities of Helsinki and Bologna become Ambassadors of ICLEI’s GreenClimateCities Europe program. 

The GreenClimateCities (GCC) program is a comprehensive climate change program for local governments that offers a flexible methodology to guide and support the process of development and implementation of Urban Low Emission Development Strategies (Urban LEDS) or climate change mitigation. It can also be used to enhance resilience and adapt to climate change. The GCC program helps prepare local communities to address the challenges and opportunities of urban and economic sustainable growth, enhancing their green economy and green infrastructure.

A unique element of the GCC is that this program also has a specific Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) framework to support demonstration of institutional commitment and capacity and of the resulting benefits, both in terms of mitigation and sustainable development. This MRV process can easily connect to the national frameworks, to support overall monitoring and achievement of quality results.

The GreenClimateCities (GCC) program is designed to support both start-up and ambitious local climate action, according to the needs and requirements of local governments. The clear, flexible methodology covers three phases: Analyze, Act and Accelerate. In the framework of the Urban-LEDS project the GCC process methodology was trialled by cities in emerging economies.

The GCC Europe Program is based on the global GCC methodology and approach, but was custom-made for the European context as a comprehensive program developed for Local Governments (LGs) in Europe for integrated climate change mitigation and adaptation planning.  

GCC Europe builds on more than 2 decades of experience and achievements of the former Cities for Climate Protection Campaign (CCP). However, it clearly moves beyond the CCP. By bringing together mitigation and adaptation, GCC Europe fosters a holistic and integrated approach that reconciles commitments and actions while addressing resilience and sustainable development. At each step GCC Europe offers local and subnational governments access to useful guidance and tools, outlining how low emission options as well as adaptation strategies can be identified and integrated into urban development policies, plans and processes.


GCC Europe helps LGs create a “bigger picture” of quality of life for their communities and supports them as they:

  • Analyze where they stand and where they want to go,
  • Act effectively to get there, and
  • Accelerate the impacts of their actions and commitments though integrated solutions.


GCC Europe Ambassador Cities commit to test the program, provide feedback, and represent GCC Europe in their country and globally - facilitating links and providing support to other local governments wishing to use this methodology for integrated planning. The aim is to create a community and network of peers working on integrated climate, policy, people, urban development and investment.

Huuska Petteri, Environmental Planner for the City of Helsinki, explained Helsinki’s motivations for joining the GCC Europe Program as Ambassador City. “We wish to gain peer support and engage in information exchange on how mitigation and adaptation measures can be integrated into city activities efficiently.” As a further benefit, Helsinki could also “offer to other Finnish municipalities our experiences of using the tools for our pioneer practices. One of our newest activities is a climate network of all administrations’ experts and interested staff, currently including 100 persons already, who are developing important projects and sharing information inside the city. GCC tools can be used in this network.”


The official launch of GCC Europe’s activities will take place during the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns, on 27-29 April 2016, in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain, with a dedicated session featuring both Bologna and Helsinki in their role as Ambassador Cities.

Upcoming activities include capacity-building, exchange and peer-to-peer opportunities, access to multi-disciplinary expertise and to a selection of tools, methodologies and good practices, addressing both technical and institutional aspects.

From low carbon to carbon neutrality, from reactive to proactive adaptation, GCC Europe supports local governments in scaling up their efforts, aligning with global standards, reporting to global platforms, and improving their performance as they progress towards resilience and sustainable development.

For more information contact: gcc-europe(at)iclei.org