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EU local leaders call for ambitious climate goals and adequate support from the EU  

Juan ESPADAS CEJAS, Mayor of Seville

 

While national governments fall short in agreeing on carbon neutrality objectives, local and regional representatives shared their will to commit and deliver ambitious climate policies during the meeting of the European Committee of the Regions commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy. At the COTER Commission meeting that took place today at the European Committee of the Regions, local and regional leaders and representatives of the European Commission exchanged their views.

Right after the European Council and COP25 failed in securing unanimous support to carbon neutrality goals, EU local and regional leaders gathered at the European Committee of the Regions in a meeting of the Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy and EU Budget (COTER), to discuss the need for more ambitions on climate goals and for a stronger support to cities. Starting their work on The renewal of the Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities, led by rapporteur Juan Espadas Cejas (ES/PES), CoR members insisted on the need to do more on climate change.

“The European Council's failure to reach unanimity on the climate neutrality objective by 2050 and the lost opportunity of the COP25 talks show us clearly that national governments are failing our citizens, their hopes and their future. On the contrary, cities are already delivering on climate action. Mayors around Europe are working hard to find solutions to tackle the climate crisis, address growing inequality and build sustainable communities. This is why we are calling for a reformed multi-level governance that puts cities at the centre of EU decision-making with the renewal of the Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities. Cities can translate the European Union's objectives into reality as two-thirds of EU policies have an impact on urban areas, but they need to be given a bigger role in designing and implementing these policies as well as the necessary resources to invest in sustainable development" said Mr Espadas, mayor of Sevilla and CoR rapporteur.

In harmony with this statement Mr Trzaskowski, mayor of Warsaw, also commented on the European Council outcome: "The people of Warsaw want to breathe clean air, and to offer their children an unpolluted environment. Like many other local leaders across Europe, I am convinced that we must embrace ambitious targets to reduce emissions and pollutants. Europe must be climate-neutral by 2050. This strategy is not some green mirage, but, rather, a realistic plan based on modern technologies. It is also an opportunity for Poland. Warsaw is a member of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, all of whose members have made a commitment to fundamentally reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050. Warsaw is already implementing pioneering approaches in this area, and we are ready to do more. EU funds are a key tool in this fight and we plan to make greater use of them in the coming decade. As a mayor and member of the European Committee of the Regions, I want – as do mayors and local administrators right across the EU – to ensure that the EU provides adequate support to regions and cities, including a strong post-2020 cohesion policy and ambitious funding during the period of transition".

The 2007 Leipzig Charter is a political declaration, which aimed both to promote greater use of integrated urban development policies and to pay attention to disadvantaged neighbourhoods within the overall context of cities. It was the first step towards an urban agenda for the EU. In the second half of 2020 the German Presidency of the EU will call for a renewed Leipzig Charter, fostering the transition of our cities towards a greener, fairer and more competitive social model.

Contact:

Débora Teixeira (CoR)
Tel. +32 22822499
Mobile +32 493 93 23 09
debora.teixeira@cor.europa.eu

Pierluigi Boda (CoR)
Tel. +32 22822461
Mobile +32 473 85 17 43
pierluigi.boda@cor.europa.eu