Country – district – municipality: strong regional players for the economy and climate protection

Processes of change and development do not stop at local borders. While they were previously developed at the national or international level and then implemented locally, the regional level is increasingly considered as a useful intermediary. This applies to economic initiatives as well as climate protection – in December 2018, for example, the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 24) called upon participating states to involve the subnational level more intensively in the design and implementation of climate protection strategy.

The project ‘COUNTRY – DISTRICT – MUNICIPALITY Plan climate protection strategically, focus on cost-effectiveness and added value’, funded by the National Climate Initiative, acknowledged the administrative district as the key intermediary level in Germany. The project helped districts coordinate local stakeholders and initiate climate protection processes that have a positive impact for the region in terms of value creation and cost-effectiveness. In addition to the coordinated project planning of regional actors in the four participating federal states, the project aimed to provide practical assistance to all interested parties in order to include the effects of climate protection measures in strategic decision-making and concrete project planning. In this context, stakeholders should not only consider the reduction of CO2, but also emphasise the added value of climate protection initiatives as a valid planning parameter. In this way, municipalities can save money, promote regional value creation and economic efficiency, and increase the attractiveness of a region as a place to live and do business. The 12 participating districts received training in an innovative project planning tool and had access to additional coaching formats. Interested districts could apply by 16 June 2019.

adelphi organised ‘regional dialogues’ with the project participants in four different states to discuss topics related to climate protection and regional development. It also provided ongoing coaching to administrative districts as they develop projects with their municipalities and other stakeholders. Furthermore, adelphi continued its development of the Business Model Canvas (BMC) for climate protection and the associated learning materials. In training sessions, municipal climate protection representatives learned to plan projects and strategies based on climate protection, economic efficiency and regional value creation as well as how to communicate them in a target-group specific manner.

The accompanying research and analysis of best practices for regional governance in climate protection and transferability to other regions was headed by Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg.

Publications of this project