International Networks and Commitments

Cities are working together to address climate change in many ways and through different mechanisms and organizations. They are providing data on emissions and reduction targets, sharing best practices on mitigation and adaptation, making city level commitments, and advocating for climate action at national and international levels, amongst others. Cities actively participate in international processes and negotiations. Cities are undertaking these actions through existing city networks, by forming new alliances and by supporting international processes. Turku is actively present on the international scene, committed and participating in several climate action networks and initiatives amongst which:

ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability

ICLEI -International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives is a global network of over 1,750 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. Active in 100+ countries, ICLEI influences sustainability policy and drives local action for low emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient and circular development. ICLEI’s members and team of experts work together through peer exchange, partnerships and capacity building to create systemic change for urban sustainability.

ICLEI Europe provides its members in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and West Asia with a voice on the European and international stage, a platform to connect with peers and tools to drive positive environmental, economic and social change. ICLEI Europe works closely with an extended network of local and regional governments and partners on a broad range of topics.

EU Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy
-Voluntary commitment to EU climate and Energy Goals

Turku is a signatory to the EU Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy which brings together local governments voluntarily committed to implementing EU climate and energy objectives. It is a network and data for 9664 signatories from 59 countries (as at 9th July 9, 2019). Turku has been participating in the Covenant of Mayors commitment since 2010. Signatories endorse a shared vision for 2050: accelerating the decarbonization of their territories, strengthening their capacity to adapt to unavoidable climate change impacts, and allowing their citizens to access secure, sustainable and affordable energy. Signatory cities pledge action to support implementation of the EU 40% greenhouse gas-reduction target by 2030 and the adoption of a joint approach to tackling mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Within this network Turku has joined efforts with other cities to become critical friends who give each other valuable feedback and advice on climate actions. One of such is the pairing of Turku and Bologna (Italy)- different cities, same goals- Bologna and Turku twinning to advance decarbonization by:

  • Making plans for reaching carbon neutrality in 10 years from now.
  • Striking deals with automotive industry giants for offsetting carbon emissions.
  • Halving emissions from road transport.

These objectives might look impossible to achieve, but the Covenant cities of Turku (Finland) and Bologna (Italy), are making them a reality. The two cities had been selected in Autumn 2018 from more than 50 applicants. Read more about their exchange in the article published by the city of Turku.

Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC)
 – Smart Cities with Sustainable Solutions

Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC) is the leading network of cities in the Baltic Sea Region with around 100-member cities from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden. Founded in 1991 in Gdańsk, UBC is a voluntary, proactive network mobilizing the shared potential of its member cities. Founded in Gdansk in 1991, the UBC is a key actor in building a sustainable Baltic Sea Region. Turku is a founding member and an active participant in the UBC. Turku has the Vice Presidency and responsibility for the strategy work. Turku is also hosting the UBC Sustainable Cities Commission Secretariat. The aims of the UBC are to:

  • Promote cooperation and exchange of experiences between cities in the BSR to advance and deliver sustainable urban solutions and quality of life, and so to bring added value for them;
  • Promote cities as drivers for smart, sustainable, green and resource-efficient growth;
  • Advance cities as inclusive, diverse, creative, democratic and safe hubs, where active citizenship, gender equality and participatory policy making are promoted;
  • Advocate for common interests of cities and their citizens, act on their behalf and further the interests of the BSR.

The UBC and its Member Cities work in close cooperation with other partners and participate actively for the implementation of regional strategies, notably the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region EUSBSR. The UBC Sustainability Action Programme 2015–2020 gives a strong mandate for UBC to work for increased efficiency and attractiveness through sustainable solutions in Baltic cities and the whole Baltic Sea Region.


The objective of the Eurocities organization is to promote the European urban policy. The organization also broadens the networking of the major cities in Europe and functions as a guardian of interests of the major cities and their citizens towards the European Union. Eurocities has over 130-member cities and a secretariat in Brussels.

 – Disclosure to facilitate measuring and managing environmental impacts

CDP Europe is a subsidiary and part of CDP Worldwide. CDP runs the global disclosure system that enables companies, cities, states and regions to measure and manage their environmental impacts. They have built the most comprehensive collection of self-reported environmental data in the world.