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Climate action: European Committee of the Regions and Under2 Coalition sign Action Plan  

The joint Action Plan 2021-2022 signed today by the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the Under2 Coalition will reinforce cooperation to promote climate action at the regional level, expand transparency and climate data disclosure, and strengthen multilevel governance within the Paris Climate Agreement and the European Green Deal. A key goal is to ensure that the COVID-19 recovery pushes the climate agenda forward with higher environmental, economic and social resilience to better tackle future crises.

The CoR – the EU's assembly of local and regional representatives - has signed a new action plan with the Under2 Coalition, a global group of more than 220 governments committed to keep global temperature rises to well below 2°C, with efforts to reach 1.5°C.

The new partnership agreement consolidates and intensifies cooperation to promote more ambitious climate action at the regional level, and will contribute to the successful implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and the European Green Deal through effective multilevel governance.

Apostolos Tzitzikostas, Governor of the Greek region of Central Macedonia and President of the European Committee of the Regions, declared: "The signature of this Action Plan strengthens the long-standing partnership between the CoR and the Under2 Coalition. It provides the right framework to deepen our cooperation to move the global climate agenda forward while supporting ambitious regions to achieve climate neutrality. Together, we can better defend multilevel governance as the way to deliver the Paris Climate Agreement and the European Green Deal in every territory, and give regions a stronger voice in the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow this November."

Franz Untersteller, Minister of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector of Baden-Württemberg and Under2 Coalition Global Ambassador, said: "With more than 220 members worldwide, the Under2 Coalition is now one of the largest and most important climate protection alliances in the world. A considerable part of our members come from the EU. Therefore, I very much welcome the fact that the Under2 Coalition and the Committee of the Regions have agreed on joint objectives and activities. Together, we will increase the visibility and effectiveness of the sub-national level in the area of climate protection both globally and in the EU."

Juan Espadas (ES/PES), Mayor of Seville and Chair of the CoR's ENVE Commission and Green Deal Going Local working group of the CoR, declared: "Working closely with the Under2 Coalition will have a great impact for the European Committee of the Regions' members. I am convinced that a global movement of local and regional governments is key in delivering climate action and achieving a sustainable transition. This Action Plan will help us strengthen the role of local governments and create an effective multilevel governance, in particular in view of the COP26."

The CoR and the Under2 Coalition are committed to work together based on the following three shared objectives:

·         To provide reciprocal support and cooperate with regards to activities of common interest around the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement;

·         To promote, at the level of regional governments, the concept of transparency and annual disclosure of climate targets and data;

·         To foster the participation of regional governments in activities that are considered a priority, for example in support of the swift implementation of key components of the European Green Deal and projects to help regional governments develop a "pathway" towards reducing emissions with a view to achieving climate neutrality.

The Action Plan defines specific areas of cooperation, including a COVID-19 green recovery, ensuring a just transition and expanding climate transparency. The new partnership also includes joint climate advocacy, communications and activities in international events such as the upcoming European Week of Regions and Cities (11-14 October 2021) and the UN's COP26 climate summit in Glasgow (1-12 November 2021).

Background

The Under2 Coalition is a global group of ambitious state and regional governments committed to keeping global temperature rises to well below 2°C, with efforts to reach 1.5°C. The coalition is composed of more than 220 governments globally, working on annual disclosure of climate data and transparency, regional policies uptake and 2050 pathways development. With 43 regional governments and 12 EU Member State endorsers, Europe is the largest constituency of the Under2 Coalition. The coalition represents a population of 182 million and GDP of USD 7.4 trillion  which is equivalent to 35% and 36% of the EU population and economy, respectively. The Climate Group is the Secretariat to the Under2 Coalition and works with governments to accelerate climate action. Minister Franz Untersteller’s term ends in May this year, but he will continue to support the Under2 Coalition as Global Ambassador in the next couple of years. In his new role he will be responsible for representing the Under2 Coalition externally together with former California Governor Jerry Brown and he will promote subnational climate action.

Contacts:

·         Under2 Coalition: Sophie Benger / sbenger@theclimategroup.org / +44 (0) 20 7960 2980

·         CoR: David Crous / david.crous@cor.europa.eu / +32 (0) 470 8810 37