• 01 Jul 2020

    Twinned cities Turku and Bologna collaborate on local carbon market

    -       - Bologna’s Master Plan inspired by lessons from Turku

    -       - Turku’s forest mapping and carbon sink calculations

    -       - Local carbon market: Turku reviews plans based on lessons from Bologna

    These are just a few of the ideas discussed and analysed between the cities of Turku (Finland) and Bologna (Italy) during their exchanges as part of the CoM Twinning Programme 2018-2019.

    Greening city Master Plans

    Back in 2019, Turku presented its Climate Plan for climate change mitigation and adaptation. The Plan includes a tool for improving the city’s urban planning practices by promoting the green efficiency of vegetation on private lots and the conservation of sufficient green infrastructure. It provides a means to assess and develop alternative ways to build an ecological, climate-proof and dense city in which the social values of urban green areas are an utmost priority. Inspired by this, Bologna’s Master Plan for resilience in urban planning includes an adapted version of this Blue Green Factor and took it one step further. The Building Impact Reduction Index – which includes a permeability assessment and greening standards, criteria for the saving and reuse of water and circular economy standards - will be used to update building regulations that apply to both public and privately owned land.

    Carbon sinks and local carbon markets

    Following-up on discussions from the cities visit in Turku in 2019, Bologna explained that it has suspended plans for a local carbon market owing to a number of challenges. Many questions arose from their experience. Who should certify carbon credits – the municipality or an external body – and which standard should be applied? Which platform should be used to sell the credits? The city has therefore decided to slow plans while it considers more closely such challenges.

    Turku has recently started to develop their own plans for a local carbon market, inspired by Bologna’s discussions in 2019, as part of their Climate Plan. For Turku, urban forests provide a considerable sink. The city has an extensive Geographic Information System and has mapped the carbon capture capacity of their forests, providing them with valuable information for monitoring progress towards their climate neutral ambition. A number of issues need to be addressed, however. How should the compensation of carbon capture and storage be calculated? How can this system work in conjunction with the city’s Climate Plan?

    Having discussed these issues and agreed further work is needed from both sides, the two cities have set a date for further in-depth discussions to address these and other challenges. In particular, both cities plan to collaborate on the standardisation of carbon credits and to address the challenges associated with the platform for selling carbon credit.

    Together, these cities have inspired and encouraged each other to develop ambitious and effective action plans for climate adaptation and mitigation. They continue to collaborate on the joint challenges they face from high emitting transport sectors to putting nature-based solutions at the forefront of city plans for combatting climate change.