NetworkNature and NetZeroCities: A Move Together from Projects for the Success Climate Neutral Cities

2 May 2024

In the dynamic landscape of climate action, collaboration and networking  is critical to everyone's success. NetZeroCities (NZC), a pioneering consortium of 35 partners from 27 European countries, is leading the way in supporting and connecting 112 European cities on their path to climate neutrality. As part of its comprehensive approach, NZC is currently conducting a survey inviting cities to express their needs and aspirations on the path to climate neutrality. The survey, which is open until 17 May 2024, will serve as a means to tailor support initiatives to cities' individual contexts, ensuring that support is aligned with the challenges on the ground.

But the collaboration doesn't end there! For those interested in replication opportunities and learning from success stories, NZC is offering a Twinning Programme, open until 31 May 2024. This initiative pairs cities to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and best practices to accelerate climate action on a global scale.

In pursuing its mission to support European cities in achieving climate neutrality, the NZC recognises the strong link between climate action and biodiversity conservation. Biodiversity, the variety of life on Earth, plays a critical role in maintaining the health, resilience and functioning of ecosystems. It directly influences climate regulation, water purification, soil fertility and pest control, among other ecosystem services vital to human well-being. NZC recognises that Nature-based Solutions (NbS), which harness the power of nature to address societal challenges, offer promising pathways for both climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation. By incorporating green infrastructure such as urban forests, green roofs, wetlands and green corridors, cities can not only reduce carbon emissions but also enhance biodiversity, improve air and water quality and mitigate the urban heat island effect. From there, it's evident that NZC and NetworkNature (NN) are keenly aware of the interconnectedness between climate action and biodiversity preservation. For those eager to delve deeper into this nexus, here are some key relevant resources: 

  1. Urban Nature Plans Guidance and Toolkit: Step-wise approach and guidance for cities towards setting up, implementing, monitoring and evaluating Urban Nature Plans.
  2. Co-impact tool: a decision-support tool designed for officers and cities to simplify creating impact assessment plans for NbS/projects: Actionable tool which offers a straightforward process for building baseline and impact assessments for nature-based solutions, advising on methodologies suited to project scale and characteristics. Users select their project targets, and CO-IMPACT provides tailored indicators, scientific evidence, and measurement methodologies for a custom-made plan.
  3. Handbook for evaluating the impact of NbS: The Handbook provides practitioners with a comprehensive NbS impact assessment framework, and a robust set of indicators and methodologies to assess the impacts of NbS across 12 societal challenges. In the appendix of methods, there are factsheets for all indicators on how to assess and monitor them
    1. Handbook for practitioners
    2. Summary for policy makers
    3. Appendix of methods
  4. Biodiversity-positive Design in Urban Areas with NbS: Two NetworkNature products offer simple design tips for boosting urban biodiversity with nature-based solutions. Developed with IFLA Europe's support, they inspire designers to think creatively about integrating nature into built environments.
    1. Wildlife-friendly Areas, Conservation Sites, the Public Realm
    2. Mobility Network, Green associated with Buildings, Vacant Plots, Brownfields

  5. REGREEN Factsheets – NbS addressing the following topics: References on NbS planning and implementation based on cases in cities across Europe. The factsheets include good practices, barriers and lessons learned.
  6. Nature pathway and Action Platform - CitiesWithNature: The Nature Pathway guides cities in planning and sharing resources for Nature-based Solutions (NbS) through a structured process of analysis, action, and acceleration, while the Action Platform offers a non-linear approach for setting targets and reporting on biodiversity commitments, aiding city councils in becoming informed about efforts to enhance and sustain urban biodiversity.