ICLEI Europe

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (founded in 1990 as the International Council for Local Initiatives) is a global network of more than 1,750 local and regional governments. ICLEI Europe’s members sit at the heart of the organization. Representing local governments and governmental associations of all shapes and sizes, their network stretches across Europe and beyond.

Members support ICLEI’s work through their membership fees and by applying their experience and creativity to develop and implement projects tackling the world’s and our biggest problems.

Between ourselves, we are a peer group whose members are dedicated to sustainable development and innovation. By exchanging and profiting from each other’s know ledge, we can drive the sustainable development agenda in Europe.



As a global network committed to sustainable urban development, ICLEI works to assist all parts of society to transform to sustainability through local action and multilevel cooperation. Our idea of sustainability is based on the concept of planetary boundaries, meaning that our economic and social development must respect the limited resources of our planet. To achieve this, ICLEI has outlined five development pathways to low-emission, nature-based, circular, resilient, equitable, and health-centred development.

Based on our 30 years of experience, we believe the key to successful transformation lies in a substantial reform of our economic, financial and social systems, and a change in the paradigms that rule those systems. We need to look beyond resource efficiency to sufficiency. Instead of creating more for everyone, causing a massive global resource overshoot, we need to create enough for everyone in a manner that respects planetary boundaries. This means that we need to distribute available resources and opportunities fairly

“In 2016, ICLEI Europe initiated the Basque Declaration, which offers local and regional governments pathways to socio-cultural, socio-economic and technological transformation and contributes to implementation of the SDGs at local level. However, for successful transformation in line with the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Paris Agreement, local and regional governments should be more than implementation partners. They need to be actively involved in the design and development of regulatory and fiscal frameworks at all levels, applying a bottom-up perspective to secure the support required for transformation on the ground.”



Active in more than a hundred countries, we influence sustainability policy and drive local action for low emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient and circular development. Our members work together with experts through peer exchange, partnership and capacity-building to create systemic change for urban sustainability.

ICLEI Europe provides its members in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and West Asia with a voice on the European and international stage, a platform to connect with peers, and tools to drive positive environmental, economic and social change. ICLEI Europe works closely with an extended network of local and regional governments and partners on a broad range of topics.




European Green Deal. Supporting local transformation at European level, in the context of the Mannheim2020 conference, ICLEI initiated with the Mannheim Message a response by mayors and decision-makers of Europe’s cities and regions to the European Green Deal.

To achieve our goal of systemic change for urban sustainability and to drive the transformation of our societies, ICLEI Europe works closely with an extended network of local and regional governments and partners on a broad range of projects in various fields. Current projects include:

Promotes the transition to a circular economy in cities.

SUMP-Plus. Develops integrated sustainable urban mobility plans.

AI4Cities. Applies artificial intelligence to promote cities’ transition to carbon neutrality.

UrbanA. Advances a just transition to sustainability.

NetworkNature. Connects nature and clever cities; develops nature-based solutions. 



Leopoldring 3, 79098 Freiburg, Germany

Phone: +49 761 36 89 2-0 

Fax: +49 761 36 89 2-19