ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability
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<< Back to: ICLEI e-News | issue 8, June - July 2007

Cities in Brazil leaders in sustainable development

From June 26 to 29, more than 300 participants convened in Betim (Brazil) to pledge their commitment to Local Renewables, an ICLEI Initiative. Since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, Brazilian local government have demonstrated global leadership on sustainable development.  Betim in particular has taken the lead as a Local Renewables ‘Model Community‘, inspiring the Brazilian cities of São Paulo, Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte and others to improve their approach to energy. "Our interaction with ICLEI has changed how we do things in the city. They have been consistent in reminding us that sustainability makes sense that we now think about it before we do a project, not after, and that gives us tremendous benefits" said the Mayor of Betim, Mr. Carlisle Pedrosa, at the opening ceremony. He refered to the construction of the new administrative center which will now feature sustainable design features following advice provided by the ICLEI Latin America and Caribbean Secretariat. "Betim could teach a few things to many European cities on energy use, especially in reagrds to deep political commitment on the issue and real actions being taken at every step of their development", remarked Mr. Jean-Olivier Dalphond, an ICLEI staff person working in Europe on the international network of Local Renewables. The event was organized for the project ELO-Brazil, funded by the UK Global Opportunity Fund, which promotes a more intelligent approach to energy by local governments. The ICLEI Latin America and Carribean Secretariat  (LACS) has been enabling this regional network to expand and connect to the global ICLEI community. The Local Renewables Initiative connects cities from Brazil, India, Germany, Sweden and South Africa to promote the generation and supply of renewable energy with a focus on energy efficiency in the urban environment. To learn more, please visit www.localrenewables.org For additional information on the event (programme, photos and presentations, please visit ICLEI LACS' site in portuguese, www.iclei.org/lacs.  For more  information on Betim and the Local Renewables project in Brazil, please visit, http://www.crer.betim.mg.gov.br/