Uppsala Climate Protocol

An inclusive co-design approach to climate neutrality

In Uppsala, local government is working with public and private organisations to design climate goals and the way to reach them together. The Climate Protocol is an inclusive co-design model that has resulted in a concrete climate strategy.

The Climate Protocol is a group of organisations working with the local government to tackle climate change. It was launched in 2010, with 16 organisations signing up to contribute to the city’s goal of a 30% reduction in emissions by 2020. After 10 successful years of engagement, the membership and the goals have adjusted: The partnership now has 40 member organisations, and the city has updated its ambitions to achieve a fossil free and renewable Uppsala by 2030 and a climate positive Uppsala by 2050.In the first programme period (2010-2012) the partners achieved a 4% reduction in emissions, and in the most recently completed period (2015-2018) they achieved a 10% reduction in emissions and a 3.5% reduction in energy use over two years. The members of the partnership include private companies, universities, public authorities and civil associations. The ongoing fourth work period is 2018-2021.

How it works

Members’ executive officers and climate coordinators meet twice a year at roundtables to make key decisions about individual and group commitments and strategic development. The climate coordinators meet four times per year for knowledge-sharing, coordination and development. There is a coordination committee with the city as standing chair, and a management team.

The organisations that make up the Climate Protocol are engaged in thematic working groups according to their area and interest. Currently there are groups working in areas including building materials, energy, freight transport, mobility, urban development, plastics and food.

Facilitated by the city of Uppsala, the members of each working group meet four to five times per year. Groups of members collaborate on joint thematic projects. For example, the project ‘Cutting-edge mobility management’ sought to persuade employees of the members to choose public transport and active transport over private car travel. This succeeded in reducing emissions by 350 tonnes CO2 equivalent.

The project ‘Climate-efficient plastic procurement’ focused on reducing the use of plastic and increasing recycling through procurement of goods and service suppliers. The results included a free online tool and other materials to give companies guidance in reducing plastic waste.

The project, ‘Climate Tasty’ focused on emissions in food production with a view to climate labelling on menus so that consumers can make informed decisions about their food purchases.

A major undertaking of the Climate Protocol is to co-create climate action roadmaps with the municipality every five years, which are longer than the programme period. The current third roadmap has a focus on strategies and multi-stakeholder actions to accelerate mitigation and systemic shifts to align to science-based targets and carbon budget for a wealthy city, companies and citizens. It aims at a 10-14% reduction a year.

Case study developed by the Covenant of Mayors – Europe Office.

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