Joint statement by the Committee of the Region's delegation to Rio+20 - President Bresso, Illmar Reepalu (SE/PES), and Michel Lebrun (BE/EPP) at the occasion of the ENVE meeting, 28 June 2012
Whilst appreciating the challenging task faced by those involved in the negotiations, it is undeniable that the Rio Conference failed to live up to expectations and set out the necessary roadmap needed to ensure the protection of our planet. Yet the opportunity missed by world leaders to agree a vision for our precious earth, was an opportunity gained for our world’s cities and regions.
Rio showed just how cities and regions are our future. We welcome that at the very least sustainable development and the green economy has been placed at the top of the political agenda, and local and regional authorities formally recognised as being a major contributor to creating a sustainable future. The Conference offered the ideal opportunity to forge new partnerships. Indeed, the Committee of the Region's signed an agreement with the United Nations Environment Programme to promote sustainable cities and regions from Europe but also other continents at a global level. We will continue to engage cities and regions, encouraging them to becoming more sustainable. In fact tomorrow we will find out which city will be the "European Green Capital 2014", demonstrating that Rio is not the end of our work, but only the beginning.
We therefore call upon our colleagues in the European Institutions to show their political will, provide the support we need and start to engage us even more within decision-making on sustainable development. With this in mind we propose a Five Point Action Plan on Sustainable Development that will form the basis of our work in the short-term term and be something to build on for the future:
So for some Rio+20 was full of disappointments, for cities and regions it is - and must be - full of opportunities. Quite simply, if our leaders can’t give the future we want, then cities and regions must take the lead.
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David FrenchTel. +32 (2) 282 2535