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2 degrees more – so what?

Climate protection at the local level

as part of the fight against poverty

Rhein-Sieg-Kreis (Rhein-Sieg district)

District administration building in Siegburg (© Stefan Knauf)
District administration building in Siegburg (© Stefan Knauf)

Initial project applicant and contracting party with the EU

Geography and history

Logo des Rhein-Sieg-Kreises

The Rhein-Sieg-Kreis (Rhine-Sieg district) is highly visible among German districts due to its significant size and enjoys an elevated reputation due to its highly developed economy and diverse environment. The area encompasses the federal city of Bonn and borders to the east and west with forested outstrips of ridges called ‘Bergisches Land’ (east) and ‘Voreifel’ (west). Hence, the county offers a rich cultural and natural landscape with a vast array of astonishing sights.

When parts of the county Bonn were allocated to the Siegkreis in 1969, the foundations were laid for the newly named Rhein-Sieg-Kreis to grow to considerable size and importance today. In the following years, the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis – including 19 cities and numerous municipalities – developed rapidly. Since the year 1970, the population grew by more than 200,000 people. A total of 600,000 residents make the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis one of the most populous counties in Germany.

A favorable location at the centre of Europe coupled with a sophisticated infrastructure positively shape regional development and international investment in the county. In addition, many institutions provide high-quality services while the overall sector composition of the economy serves the needs and demands of a broad pool of clients.

Urban partnerships

On European and international scale, one of the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis’ priorities is the enhancement of intra-European community links by emphasizing the importance of dialogue between the different parties. After the Second World War, European cooperation on community basis was pioneered through the establishment of urban partnerships, contacts or friendships. At the moment, the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis has more than 50 partnerships with mostly European communities and cities. An official partnership with the Powiat Bolesławiecki (county Bolesławiec) in Poland was ratified in the year 2001 and close ties were built in recent years.

Engagement for Millennium goals

Furthermore, the most challenging modern issues such as global justice and development cooperation are crucial to the work and efforts of the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis. Following a 19th of June 2006 meeting, the city council pronounced its determination to devote a great deal of their energy and skills to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This decision derived from the council’s awareness that community participation is essential in these global quests and that these matters require collective responsibility in order to be managed successfully. Therefore, the implementation of the MDGs is regarded a major task in communal politics. Special attention is given to topics such as social integration, gender equality and sustainable ecologic development in the framework of the Agenda-21 process. Since the beginning of 2002, the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis assists the EU-program ‘ASIA URBS’ which aims to strengthen administrative capacity in two provincial capitals in Cambodia.

The district is also a leader in regard to goal seven of the MDGs. In this case, the focus is on the preservation of ecologic sustainability. For instance, CO2-emissions were largely cut as a result of a renewed energy plan for county-owned facilities. Interested individuals, who want to know more about energy efficiency, should visit the website of the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis. Information material concerning heating balances, energy sheets and solar energy are provided in the subsection ‘Energiesparportal’ (engl. ‘Energy savings portal’). Ultimately, this ongoing dedication for the accomplishment of the MDGs has made the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis a nominee for the European Energy Award (EEA). This award is given after a committee examined the candidate’s climate-oriented work, their design of climate-related initiatives and the final implementation.

The project “2 degrees more – so what?”

Climate protection at the local level as a part of the fight against poverty immediately attracted the interest of the county. A driving factor for getting involved with the project was the officials’ wish to strengthen their engagement for climate and development-policy as well as fostering the constituency’s international stance. As the official project partner of the EU, the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis plays a leading role in this initiative after having laid out the initial project application. Moreover, such a long-term program serves as an ideal platform for the people of the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis to become more acquainted with the intriguing topic climate change. As a matter of fact, the improvement of global conditions is inherently connected to people’s awareness of global relationships. Thus, in the course of our education program, we will conduct various events at regional research institutions and schools offering a diverse portfolio of activities. Economic actors will also take part in the program.

The Rhein-Sieg-Kreis is looking forward to an exciting project!

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Germany

Projektpartner in Deutschland
Key data: Germany

Population

80.2 million

Area 

357,050 km²

GDP per capita

31,415 €

HDI

0.905

Capital

Berlin

Official language

German

Source: German Federal Foreign Office, UNDP

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