The Climate Mitigation Fund 2.0

On March 14, the Climate KIC invited us to run a scenario exploration session in Bologna, Italy, in the frame of the project “Climate Mitigation Fund 2.0” (CMF 2.0). This project is supporting various cities in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The city of Bologna has adopted a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) to reduce CO2 emissions, as required by the Covenant of Mayors. However, its lack of a specific budget allocated to support the climate actions and the high costs of management for large funds constrain the city to concentrate on low-costs financing mechanisms, e.g. crowd-funding integrated with carbon credits generation and financing opportunities made available by financing institutions. The district scale was found to be the most effective to support climate mitigation actions because it allows to involve the local actors, promote innovative projects at an urban scale and develop organic projects. Therefore, the municipality of Bologna decided to take the Pilastro district, the least favoured of the city, as a pilot for the CMF 2.0 project. The question was how to find the best formula to manage the available funding sources to support the green transition in the Pilastro district of Bologna?

New scenario cards developed

On March 13, the Climate-KIC, with the support from the Regional Development Department of the University of Kassel (Germany) ran a visioning workshop (15 year time horizon) for that district. They created with the local stakeholders a market led scenario and a policy led scenario. This was used in real time to generate scenario detail cards and scenario explorer resources to be used in a SES session the next morning. We were joined by 7 participants from different local associations and agencies for the session. Two roles were played by pairs of participants. The two people running the project took extensive notes. The content of the exchanges was harvested carefully and will be used by the project to make specific recommendations.

The experience was a success:

  • The scenario disks and scenario detail cards produced ‘on the ‘go’ were of good quality;
  • Participants stayed until completion of the scenario exploration in spite of the very much delayed start and unexpected disruptions;
  • Participants took their roles very seriously, which gave a very realistic feel to the experience and they filled their record sheets very thoroughly;
  • Participants gave very specific positive and constructive feedback at the end. They expressed clearly that they had enjoyed the session;
  • Participants expressed very clearly their learning from the session (systemic perspective, better understanding of the role and influence of other stakeholders, realization of the importance of collaboration…).

The exercise was repeated on  April 28 for the second test city of the project: Frankfurt

The city of Frankfurt is deeply involved in finding ways to create a sustainable future for itself. The modern building in which we were (passive house standard, financed via a public private partnership model), was a low energy building witness to the efforts made currently to renew urban areas at the heart of the city.

the passive house where we held the session

In a similar fashion to what had been done in Bologna, Alice Bauer from the Regional Development Department of the University of Kassel (Germany), created with local stakeholders a market led scenario and a policy led scenario for making Frankfurt more sustainable. These scenarios were used to produce the necessary elements (scenario detail cards, roles and scenario explorer resources) to be used in a SES session.

As in Bologna, Cristian Matti from the Climate KIC, Alice Bauer from the University of Kassel and Laurent Bontoux from the EU Policy Lab were joined by nine participants representing different stakeholders. This time, it had been possible to discover the scenarios ahead of time, but the novelty was that two identical sessions were held, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. This made it possible to explore more options for action. Also, unlike in Bologna, all roles were played individually.

All participants played roles in line with their real life positions. Several were connected to the local government and administration in relatively high positions. For example, we had the Head of Innovation and Environment from the Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce, the Head of the Climate Change Adaptation Department of the City of Frankfurt, the Head of the Frankfurt Municipal Energy Agency and the advisor to the Frankfurt Deputy Mayor for the Environment and Women.

In line with our experience, the sessions ran very smoothly in a happy and constructive atmosphere. In spite of the higher level of responsibility of the participants compared to other sessions, all accepted the unconventional format of the exercise well and took their roles very seriously. Even people who had flagged that they didn’t feel comfortable with games found the scenario exploration interesting and stayed committed until the end.

Some participants expressed very clearly their interest in the session and inquired about the possibility to use the Scenario Exploration System themselves. This is of course possible and we are ready to provide a printable version of the Scenario Exploration System to any person interested. It is available under a Creative Commons license (CC-SA-BY).

As in Bologna, the content of the exchanges was harvested carefully and will be used by the project to make specific recommendations to the city of Frankfurt.

This event results from interactions between the JRC and the Climate-KIC that started in 2016 to bring practical tools and methods at the science-policy-practice interface to practitioner in Climate KIC and beyond. This takes the form of joint initiatives where tools/methods from JRC are combined with tools developed by Climate KIC as the Visual Toolbox for System Innovation. The CMF 2.0 project is the materialization of this interaction into a series of pilot initiatives.

Institutionally, we hope to see this activity taken up as an example of concrete cooperation in the Memorandum of Understanding being discussed between the JRC and the European Institute of Technology (EIT).

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