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Sustainable procurement for climate neutrality

25 September 2018

The Paris Agreement which was adopted by the United Nations (UN) member states in 2015 aims for global climate neutrality in the second half of this century – and it is widely recognized that national governments alone cannot achieve this objective. This past June, at the ICLEI World Congress in Montréal, ICLEI issued a call to action targeting local and regional governments. The ICLEI Montréal Commitment calls on local and regional governments to aim for 100 percent renewable energy and divest from fossil fuels to achieve climate neutral government operations and infrastructure. The commitment stresses local and regional governments' leadership role in deploying ambitious policies, concepts, actions and technologies to achieve neutrality.

To assist local authorities in achieving this goal, ICLEI developed a simple 4 step path toward climate neutrality. Starting with government operations and infrasturcture, public bodies can procure 100% renewable energy as well as sustainable goods and services. As a second step, public funds can be divested from fossil intensive industries and other unsustainable practices and as a third step reinvested in ambitious mitigation and adaptation activities which include innovative and strategic procurement. And finally, emissions that cannot be reduced with these measures can be offset using UN recognized carbon offsetting mechanisms.

Ways in which local governments can achieve climate neutrality were also an important result of the SPP regions project, supporting public authorities in using sustainable procurement (SPP) strategically to achieve climate targets. More resources on SPP stretgies that reduce CO2 emissions can be found in the resource centre and the SPP regions website.