The Region of Abruzzo, with the support of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), the Assembly of European Regions (AER), the European Federation of Agencies and Regions for Energy and the Environment (FEDARENE) and the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE) is organizing a citizens’ dialogue on climate and energy in the framework of the 2017 European Week of Regions and Cities and the Interreg MED project “NEW FINANCE”.
The event will take place in Pescara, Italy, on October 20, 2017 following the workshop on climate and energy transition organized on October 11 in Brussels, at the Region of Abruzzo’s premises.
The aim of the day is to recognize the fundamental role of citizens in the fight against climate change, a role that has been repeatedly voiced by the United Nations, which has finally given the cities an official position in global climate diplomacy. The initiative is also a preparation event for the annual UN Climate Change Conference, COP23, taking place next 6-17 November in Bonn, as the Region of Abruzzo will present the outcomes of the citizens’ dialogue during the Conference of the Parties and disseminate them among national and European decision-makers.
The first session of the consultation foresees a presentation of European and Italian initiatives and policies on climate change, with particular attention to the role of citizens within them. The second session will focus on regional experiences and best practices in the field. In the afternoon, citizens will be gathered in thematic working groups and will have the opportunity to debate on the topics of the previous session, identify the effects of climate change on their territories, propose solutions and have a dialogue with the speakers. Citizens’ opinions and proposals will be gathered by ad hoc facilitators appointed for the event and presented and debated at the end of the day.
The climate conference in Paris in December 2015 (COP21) and in Marrakech (COP22) in November 2016, highlighted the urgent role that individuals are playing in addressing climate change. Worldwide, many initiatives have been launched for engaging citizens in the theme and, between them, it is worth to highlight the “World Wide Views on Climate Energy” (WWVs), the largest ever citizen consultation on climate change held on 6th June 2015 in 75 countriesincluding the region of Abruzzo.
On the basis of the successful experience with the VVWs and the strong conviction of the role of local authorities and citizens in the fight against climate change, this event aims at bringing together citizens and representatives of the most important EU and international organizations and associations in the field of climate and energy, to debate and propose ideas and solutions in the tackling of climate change.
Citizens will be selected to reflect the demographic diversity in the region of Abruzzo with regards to age, gender, occupation, education, geographical zone of residency and membership of environmental organisations. They will listen to the different experiences at regional and local level in the field of climate actions and then they will have the opportunity to debate on this with international, EU and national authorities. Afterwards, they will be divided into groups with a facilitator or moderator and discuss about the impact of climate change in their territory, analysing a concrete example and proposing possible solutions or ideas, comments, etc.