As Russia's illegal aggression to Ukraine keeps threating Europe, the Mayor of Warsaw places energy poverty and direct EU funds for cities and regions to tackle soaring energy prices and boost climate action as top priorities .
Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw, has been elected chair of the European Committee of the Regions' Commission for the Environment, Climate Change and Energy
, in charge of the European Green Deal including energy and climate policies, biodiversity, circular economy and zero pollution.
His mandate will last for two and a half years. Mayor Trzaskowski will also chair the
Green Deal Going Local
Working Group, leading the CoR's efforts to place cities and regions at the heart of the EU's transition towards climate neutrality.
With a strong and internationally recognised background defending
environmental and social rights in Poland and globally, the Mayor of
Rafał Trzaskowski (PL/EPP),
has been elected new chair of the
and of the
Green Deal Going Local
Working Group, today in Milan.
In his opening speech as new chair, Mayor Trzaskowski said:
"The current geopolitical uncertainty, high inflation and energy prices
caused by Russia's illegal war in Ukraine is not diminishing the
climate emergency we live in.
There is no time to lose. Tackling energy poverty, providing cities and
regions with direct funds and technical assistance to improve energy
efficiency, reduce energy bills and accelerate the deployment of
renewable energies is the only way forward. Without involving citizens
and local communities, we will not reach a sustainable and just
transition for all. These are the key priorities I will focus on
without forgetting the need to continue our work on biodiversity
protection and restoration, reducing pollution and moving forward the
circular economy agenda."
On the EU institutional front, Mayor Trzaskowski
"Building up on our achievements, it is crucial that we reinforce
institutional partnerships with the European Commission, the Parliament
and the Council so that the voice of cities and regions is not left
unheard and effectively shapes the European Green Deal legislation in
the making. Local and regional authorities must be at the heart of the
energy market structural reforms planned for 2023, with mandatory
consultation mechanisms within the Energy Governance Regulation. The
presence of CoR rapporteurs in the different Council configurations –
be that working groups or ministerial councils – must be the rule, not
The president of the European Committee of the Regions,
Vasco Alves Cordeiro
, congratulated Mayor Trzaskowski for his election, saying:
"In this critical moment for the European Union as a whole, the European Committee of the Regions will be able to count on an experienced and
committed mayor like Rafał Trzaskowski as new Chair of the Commission
on Environment, Climate Change and Energy. From the climate emergency
to delivering the European Green Deal, from the rising energy costs to
making the energy transition work, the European Committee of the
Regions will continue supporting and defending the role of regions and
cities in achieving a just and sustainable transition for all."
During its current mandate, which began in 2020, the CoR has concluded
decisive agreements with the European Commission's directorate-general (DG)
for Energy on a
joint action plan on the Renovation Wave
, the launch of the
Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform
with DG Environment and the setup of the
Chamber of National Ambassadors of the Covenant of Mayors
and the network of
CoR Climate Pact Ambassadors
, in cooperation with DG CLIMA.
At the international level and just four weeks before the
United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27
) kicks off in Sharm el-Sheikh, Mayor Trzaskowski welcomed the European
Parliament ENVI committee's resolution on COP27,
on Monday 3 October and which supports the CoR proposals for a stronger
role of cities and regions in the implementation of the Paris agreement. "
We are closely following up on Member States' positions on global
climate negotiations and we look forward to the Council of the EU
unequivocally supporting the urgent need for multilevel cooperation
action and its support for the inclusion, within the COP27 final
conclusions, of the need to fully involve local and regional
authorities in the implementation of Paris agreement,"
said Mayor Trzaskowski. "The
and the framework of the UN's convention on biodiversity protection
(CBD COP 15)
is the example to follow",
emphasised the new ENVE chair.
The City of Warsaw
the Covenant of Mayors in February 2009. Under the leadership of Rafał
Trzaskowski, the city of Warsaw has adopted an ambitious clean-air
programme and has prioritised a modern, clean urban transport system,
thermal retrofits of buildings in housing and in the public and service
sectors, the implementation of renewable-energy production of electricity
and heat, including waste-to-energy solutions, the reduction of energy
consumption with new energy-efficiency technologies and citizens'
involvement through awareness-raising and engagement campaigns.
has been a member of the European Committee of the Regions since November
2019. Prior to that, he served as Member of the European Parliament
(2009–13), Minister of Administration and Digitization (2013–14) and
Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of
Poland (2014–15). Mayor Trzaskowski was elected Member of the Polish
Parliament in 2015. In October 2018, he won the elections to become Mayor
of Warsaw. As the candidate of the
in the elections for the
Presidency of Poland
in May 2020, he received over 10 million votes, coming second with a 48.97%
share of the vote.
At the European Committee of the Regions, Mayor Trzaskowski has been member
of the COTER and ENVE
commissions and rapporteur of the opinions on 'The European Climate Pact' and 'Amending the Energy Efficiency Directive to meet the new 2030 climate
targets'. Mayor Trzaskowski is an international reference in climate action, member
of the Covenant of Mayors Political Board
Climate Pact Ambassador.