Welcome to the fifth edition of the COP Chronicles, bringing you fresh news on COP27 from Sharm el-Sheikh
The twelfth day of COP27 marked another important step for the European Committee of the Regions' (CoR) delegation to Sharm el-Sheikh, where delegates
participated to the first-ever Ministerial Meeting on Urbanization and Climate Change, convened by the COP27 Egyptian Presidency. Delegates continued to contribute to
events organised by global and European partners, highlighting the importance of local and regional action in the encouraging climate commitments, enabling public-private cooperation, managing air quality, promoting a fair green skills agenda and leading by example on the road towards climate neutrality.
Ministerial Meeting on Urbanization and Climate Change.
The CoR delegation participated to the first-ever
Ministerial Meeting on Urbanization and Climate Change, convened by the
COP27 Egyptian Presidency. The Ministerial meeting aimed at reinforcing the
commitment to the Paris Agreement for multi-level climate action. The
Egyptian Presidency launched the
Sustainable Urban Resilience for the next Generation (SURGe)
Initiative. The initiative revolves around the Global SURGe Alliance, which aims to
provide an advisory function, convening biennially at the margins of the
World Urban Forum and presenting annual progress at UNFCCC COPs. Speaking
on behalf of the
Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Constituency
and acting as the ICLEI
Special Envoy for COP27, Sharon DIJKSMA, Mayor of Utrecht,
Netherlands, stressed the importance of local and regional actors in
decarbonizing urban areas.
Bilateral meeting with Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
(PL/ECR) met with Ana ASTI, Undersecretary of Water Resources and
Sustainability of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Leonardo SOARES, President of
the State Water and Sewage Company (CEDAE). The parties exchanged on the
challenges, experiences and global synergies in effective water management,
as well as the ongoing cooperation between Poland and Brazil.
Side event: Climate neutral and smart cities with and for citizens.
Organised by the
Covenant of Mayors – Europe, the session gathered local and national policy makers, international
organisations and stakeholders, as well as financial institutions and NGOs
to explore practical examples and investigate how ongoing EU flagship
initiatives connect to the Covenant and among each other. Alison GILLILAND (IE/PES) drew attention to the connection
between political commitments and action planning, stating that action
plans create long-term commitments, flexible management structures and
robust risk mitigation strategies.
Side event: Implementing Local Green Deals - implementing global
ambitions at the local level.
In 2021, the
Intelligent Cities Challenge (ICC)
and the CoR held a joint Mayors Summit on Local Green Deals, launching
Local Green Deals - Blueprint for Action. The EU Pavilion event, organised by DG GROW in cooperation with ICLEI and
the CoR, focused on the role of Local Green Deals in enabling
transformative action through inclusive governance structures. As key note
speaker, Ricardo RIO (PT/EPP), Mayor of Braga, Portugal,
drew from the experiences in his city to underline how Local Green Deals
can support collaborative, transformative processes: "
Local Green Deals are an extremely good instrument in facilitating this
kind of cooperation. They are a great way of pooling resources and
know-how to create real and lasting impacts, and to move together
towards a common goal. They are a great way of enabling locally-driven
public-private partnerships that multiply the value of green
investments for all of the engaged sides". Vincent CHAUVET (FR/Renew) highlighted that the global
dimension should also support local levels on their path towards climate
"Two thirds of policies are implemented at the local and regional
level. In Europe, direct budgeting comes from EU to cities, but in the
future, it should also come from global funds to cities, especially in
the global south. We want to be involved in the design of policies and
not just the implementation".
Side event: Leading Actions toward Zero Carbon Cities.
Under its Regional Decarbonization Roadmap, Japan aims to create 100
leading decarbonization areas by 2030 and roll out these practices to other
regions through collaboration between national and local governments. The
EU launched the mission to deliver
100 Climate Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030. This side event has focused on the similarities and the differences
between the two initiatives with the aim of promoting the decarbonization
of cities across the world. Alison GILLILAND (IE/PES)
shared experiences from Dublin, Ireland, as one of the signatories of the
EU mission charter:
"Local authorities are also imperative in mobilizing funds for low- or
zero-carbon projects. At the heart of the EU mission are the Climate
City Contracts – multi-stakeholder partnerships that include an overall
plan for climate neutrality across sectors like energy, buildings,
waste management and transport, together with related investment plans.
The purpose of these partnerships is for all the different actors –
citizens, businesses and academia – to develop a stake in the green
transition, and it is exactly the local authorities that are best place
to facilitate these partnerships".
Clean Air as a human right: air quality actions for climate mitigation,
adaptation, and human health.
The event gathered experts and stakeholders to discuss the issue of air
pollution, effective air quality management and the benefits that it can
bring to the wellbeing of citizens. Marieke SCHOUTEN
(NL/The Greens) stressed the importance of clean air when it comes to the
health and wellbeing of citizens, welcoming the increased EU ambitions on
air quality: "When it comes to health, the WHO guidelines represent better targets
than the current EU standards. This is why I welcome new EU legislation
published by the European Commission a couple of weeks ago where the
standards are increased up to WHO guidelines".
Bilateral meeting with the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
(PL/ECR) met with Marilia CARVALHO DE MELO, Secretary for Environment and
Sustainable Development, to strengthen the cooperation between Silesia
Region and the State of Minas Gerais, also touching on the
BraSilesia project, carried out by the University and the Katowice Special Economic Zone,
which facilitates collaboration between Polish and Brazilian companies and
Side event: LGMA Global Townhall Towards COP28.
The CoR delegation joined the rest of the LGMA
Constituency to take stock of the progress on the negotiations and take a
look at the main achievements and positions of the Constituency. The event
served to round out the main activities under the Multi-Level Action
Pavilion and to set a direction for the constituents on the road to COP28
Side event: Capacity building on green skills to enable local, regional
and international climate action.
A green transition cannot happen without an effective labour market that
can keep up with the demand for green skills. Vincent CHAUVET (FR/Renew) joined the event organised by
Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
to discuss on the challenges when pushing for an ambitious green skills
agenda, stressing the need to protect disadvantaged groups of citizens in
"There is also a real risk that pushing a green skills agenda can have
a more detrimental effect on minorities, women, children, adolescents,
youth and people from disadvantaged communities. This is especially
true for remote and sparsely populated territories, where the
population faces greater barriers and difficulties in accessing quality
training and education".