The European Climate Law is the centerpiece of the European Green Deal, as it enshrines the climate-neutrality objective within an appropriate legal form and establishes a framework to esnure consistency in reaching it;
The main objective of the opinion on the European Climate Law is to ensure that the Climate Law does not falter in maintaining ambitions and that it allows for future Green Deal legislation and initiatives to take full advantage of the expertise of Europe's regions and cities;
The opinion also aims to highlight the need to embrace the geographic, social and economic diversity of the EU and its many regions, as a "one-size-fits-all" approach does not serve well neither the climate and environmental goals that the Green Deal aims to reach, nor the Green Deal's role as the EU's new growth strategy.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- supports the establishment of the EU's long-term climate neutrality objective by means of an appropriate legally-binding objective as a necessary step to steer the European project towards irreversible climate neutrality by 2050;
- emphasises that the European Climate Law should also ensure that the measures implemented to achieve the net-zero greenhouse gas emissions must reinforce and not compromise other environmental priority goals, such as biodiversity protection or the management of protected areas;
- highlights the recently adopted Declaration on Local and regional authorities as actors of the European response to the COVID-19 crisis, and the need for the European Green Deal to form a key element of the EU recovery plan, so that the crisis turns into an opportunity to urgently address climate change and to strengthen the EU's economic, social and territorial cohesion;
- believes it is necessary to involve all relevant subnational governments in the drafting of the national energy and climate plans (NECPs) and long-term national policies through a genuine participatory multilevel dialogue based on regional and local experiences;
- reiterates its call for a European climate neutrality observatory to be set up in order to help meet national obligations to submit reports within the framework of energy union governance;
- stresses that tailor-made direct allocation of funds for locally and regionally adapted measures in line with the targets specific to that level would not only have a strong impact on the economy, but also have a mobilising effect on the community's involvement in participation structures;
- stresses that, as the involvement of citizens is key to achieving significant progress towards climate neutrality, initiatives that encourage bottom-up feedback and support the exchange of information and education at grassroots level should be considered invaluable for the success of the European Green Deal; in this regard, suggests integrating the European Climate Pact into the European Climate Law.