The “No Regrets: Pre-Acting and Adapting to Climate Change in Cities” conference was held in Berlin on 14-15 October 2013.
Sixty representatives from all over Europe attended the event. Practitioners, municipal representatives, academics and business people came together to discuss municipal adaptation measures to climate change. The participants were from fifteen major and capital cities — mainly in Europe, including, Amsterdam, Bonn, Brussels, Hamburg, Hanover, Helsinki, Melbourne, Moscow, Rotterdam, Seoul, Stockholm and Vienna. They were responding to the most recent world climate change report which emphasised the likelihood that global temperature will increase beyond the 2 degrees centigrade limit, and indicated that the rate of sea-level rise is more rapid than had hitherto been expected. Against this background, there was unanimity amongst all the meeting participants that cities need to begin now to adapt to climate change.
Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, opened the conference with the words: ‘We hope to keep up with the Charter, with which we will work into the future, seeking to influence European, but also global debate’. The first-stage drafting of the Charter was prepared by experts from the Senate Department for Urban Development and Environment — Hans-Uve Schwedler and Paul James, Director of the Global Compact Cities Programme of the United Nations — with responses from representatives of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), and Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), as well as representatives from the cities and organizations present.
- Michael Müller, Mayor of Berlin
- Prof. Paul James, Director of the UN Global Compact Cities Programme, Melbourne
- Christian Gaebler, State Secretary at the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment, Berlin
- Barbara Berninger, Regional Secretary Europe of Metropolis
- Dr Mark Lawrence, Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Potsdam
- Alexandra van Huffelen, Deputy Mayor of the City of Rotterdam
- Prof. Floris Boogaard, University Groningen
- Dr Carlo Becker, TU Cottbus
- Dr Young Soo Choi, Leader of Green Energy Policy Team, Green Energy Department, Seoul Metropolitan Government