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EU Cities and Regions at COP27: Tuesday, 15 November 2022  

​​​​​Welcome to the third edition of the COP Chronicles, bringing you fresh news on COP27 from Sharm el-Sheikh

The CoR delegation was present in full force in Sharm el-Sheikh on the ninth day of COP27, where delegates met with EVP Frans Timmermans and key EU institutions, issuing a clear call for a stronger recognition of local and regional authorities in the COP27 conclusion documents. Delegates participated in events organised by global and European partners to highlight the importance of local and regional action in the just transition, tackling energy poverty and enabling multilevel cooperation , among others

Side event: Just transition and social dialogue to achieve ambitious climate policies that leave no one behind. A just transition means greening the economy in a way that is as fair and inclusive as it is ambitious and this event provided a platform to exchange on the priorities in promoting a transition with no one left behind. Marieke SCHOUTEN (NL/The Greens) underlined the importance of citizen engagement in ensuring a just transition: “Just transition can be put into practice at local level with a lot of imagination, prioritisation of investment and education. We have to recognise that 'trickle down' does not exist in climate policy: local governments should heavily invest in sustainable social housing, encourage education and training for new types of jobs and skills locally, and engage in local renewable energy projects together with citizens. Local levels are directly accountable, which also creates a lot of space for dialogue with citizens” .

Bilateral meeting with New South Wales, Australia. Jakub CHEŁSTOWSKI (PL/ECR) met with Kate WILSON, Executive Director for Climate Change and Sustainability of New South Wales, Australia to discuss shared experiences and synergies on the energy transition and meeting EU and global decarbonisation goals. Both parties expressed their commitments towards climate action and stressed the importance of unifying around global challenges.

Bilateral meeting with the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Australia. The CoR delegation sat down with Adrian SCHRINNER, Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Australia, to discuss prospects of global cooperation between local authorities. The Australian state of Queensland is already experiencing substantial negative effects from climate change along its highly developed coastline and has recently adopted a cutting-edge action plan on both mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The Lord Mayor stated that CoR members should be encouraged to join the SDG Cities Global Initiative in order to showcase their commitments and engage in climate action on the global level.

Side event: Cities stepping up to the energy crisis: launching the Energy Access and Poverty Pillar of the GCoM Common Reporting Framework. Energy poverty occurs at the local level and has profound impacts on the quality of life of people worldwide. The event, organised by the Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM), served as a launch point of the Energy Access and Poverty Pillar (EAPP) of the GCoM Common Reporting Framework. Rafał TRZASKOWSKI (PL/EPP) applauded the EAPP as a good way to keep track of energy poverty at a global scale, stressing the importance of local authorities in evaluating and addressing the vulnerabilities.

Bilateral Meeting with Ukrainian NGO Razom We Stand. Razom We Stand is a grassroots organisation that stands for the sustainable reconstruction of Ukraine and a total and permanent embargo on Russian fossil fuels, as well as an immediate end to all investment into Russian oil and gas companies. The CoR delegation met with Director Svitlana ROMANKO to discuss how the European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Reconstruction of Ukraine and the CoR Working Group on Ukraine could support such efforts.

Side event: Rethink your Action: Education, Innovation, and Digitalization for Participatory Climate Action in Cities at the Innovation Hub Pavilion . Fighting climate change requires creativity and innovation centred around human needs and existing capabilities. Joining a panel of experts,Alison GILLILAND (IE/PES) highlighted the need for co-creation between decision-makers and citizens as and presented the Smart Dublin initiative as a good way to enable and scale innovation at the local and subnational level.

Side event: The Global Covenant of Mayors Multilevel Climate Action Playbook. During COP26, the Multilevel Climate Action Playbook for Local and Regional Governments was published by GCoM to help cities establish multilevel governance frameworks for their green transition processes. During COP27, the Second Edition of the Playbook was launched as an update to reflect the global developments since Glasgow. Olgierd GEBLEWICZ (PL/EPP) stressed the importance of multilevel cooperation in reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement, highlighting the unique role of regions and cities: “If we want to be successful in climate policy, we need three ingredients: financing, legislation and society. Our crucial job is to convince society”.

Side event: Financing the transition to climate neutrality in the Mediterranean: Who, how, where and when. Although Mediterranean countries contribute moderately to global greenhouse gas emissions the region is a climate change hotspot, as highlighted by several IPCC reports. Vincent Chauvet (FR/Renew) joined the event to showcase the crucial role of local authorities in transforming the Mediterranean and highlighted the role of the CoR Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly ( ARLEM) in boosting subnational climate diplomacy during COP27 and with a view to COP28.

Bilateral meeting with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) delegation COP27. The CoR delegation met with the EESC delegation to COP27 to discuss cooperation on the road to COP28, as well as opportunities and milestones for future cooperation. Both delegations highlighted the need to better exploit synergies in order to multiply their impacts at future UNFCCC COPs and the need to work together on the topics of just transition inclusion and youth empowerment.

Briefing with Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans . The CoR delegation was invited to take part in the official European Commission briefing on COP27. Executive Vice-President of the Commission, Frans TIMMERMANS, presented the current state of the negotiations and the EU position. Participating alongside the European Parliament delegation and the EESC delegation, the CoR delegation issued a clear call for a stronger recognition of local and regional authorities in the EU mandate for COP28 and underlined its leading role in boosting subnational climate diplomacy in the EU and beyond. In his response, EVP Timmermans expressed his willingness to further explore ways of cooperation with the CoR.

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