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About the project

cc.alps – climate change: thinking one step further!

KlimawandelYou can deplore it. Or study it further. Revise the forecasts for mankind’s impact upwards or downwards. But the one thing you cannot do is dispute it: climate change is a fact. It can be seen all over the world and it is particularly noticeable in the Alps. Politics, the economy and society have started to take measures either to adapt to changes in the climate or to mitigate them. The broad spectrum of measures includes snow guns, glacier films, avalanche baffle installations, renewable energies, passive houses and more public transport. They are all direct or indirect responses to climate change and its assumed impact. Yet not all the projects and technologies make sense and are sustainable. What sort of impact do they have on nature and the environment? What are their social and economic repercussions? Could it be that the ecological consequences of some climate programmes are even more severe than the impact of climate change itself?

CIPRA believes that such questions are asked all too seldom. While action is necessary, activism may well be detrimental. With its cc.alps project CIPRA wants to ensure that climate protection is shaped in such a way that it is in keeping with the principle of sustainable development. Indeed, climate response measures are to be put to the test. 

Gathering, evaluating and communicating knowledge

In a first stage cc.alps has gathered and documented activities which have already been implemented. The advantage is that their impact is now already visible and can be evaluated scientifically. A group of international experts has defined fields of action and drawn up a rating system to evaluate climate response measures objectively and systematically. The criteria cover all three dimensions of sustainability: nature, society and the economy. The second stage takes the issue to the general public. CIPRA uses the scientific basis to raise awareness of the impact of climate change in the Alpine region. This PR work is aimed at warning against those measures which do not comply with the principle of sustainability. But also – on a more positive note – at propagating those measures which are considered sustainable and exemplary.

The Climate in the Alps is much prized! – The competition

In 2008 cc.alps carried out a competition across the Alps aimed at finding successful activities and projects relating to climate protection. All the contributions submitted have been posted on this homepage. An international jury evaluated the contributions and awarded seven prizes worth a total of €100,000.

Pilot regions for implementing the findings

The results of cc.alps are to be put to direct practical use. To this end cc.alps is cooperating with several pilot regions in the Alps. The pilot regions are showing how climate response measures in the Alpine region can be shaped in an eco-friendly way. Some of these regions are cooperating in the frame of a transnational EU Leader project. The main topics of this project are mobility, energy efficiency in tourism and renewable energies in the agricultural sector. The project lasts for three years which allows the implementation and monitoring of measures.

Disseminating knowledge

With its ambitious project CIPRA is building on the positive experience it gained with its Future in the Alps Project completed in December 2007. As part of cc.alps, CIPRA again first of all gathered scientific data; then in a second stage it makes the findings and practical solutions available to the general public and to interested target groups. Useful information is published through workshops, conferences, publications and electronic media. In addition, stakeholders in the Alps have the possibility of establishing new contacts and exchanging their knowledge.

Project organisation

CIPRA International is co-operating with a team of renowned outside experts. Work in the individual Alpine states is supported by national contact agencies. The Project started in February 2008 and is financed by Switzerland’s MAVA Foundation for Nature.