Responding to the announcement from President Donald Trump to withdraw the United States' support for the Paris Climate-Change Agreement, Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of the Regions, has underscored the unwavering commitment of cities and regions across the European Union to curb climate change and respond to this global threat, which affects the lives and livelihoods of people in every corner of the European Union.
"The decision of the US government to withdraw from the Paris Agreement is regrettable and endangers our ability to live in security, as well as the future of the whole planet," President Markkula said. "The EU's cities and regions call upon their global allies, including through the Global Covenant of Mayors' network, to stick to the commitments reached two years ago in Paris, in order to ensure a green, secure, sustainable life in a rapidly changing environment."
The European Committee of the Regions has long pushed for far more ambitious goals in international climate negotiations, and for a new global governance system of climate action. It will continue to do so at the next meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to be held in Bonn this November.
"We must tap into the vast support for climate action among voters and among local and regional politicians, by giving cities and regions a formal role in shaping the global climate agenda," President Markkula said. "On this side of the Atlantic, regions and cities have already said that they can and will deliver the climate goals agreed in Paris, and many are willing to go further. We extend our support to all US cities and states willing to try and do the same."
The chairman of the CoR's Commission for Environment and Climate Change, Francesco Pigliaru , said: "It is now even more essential that world leading economies keep their climate commitments and mobilise the necessary means to make the sustainable transition of territories worldwide a success. Beyond political movements and opinions, we all share the common goal of providing our children with a better and more sustainable world."
The CoR will participate on 27 June in a meeting in Brussels called by the executive board of the Global Covenant of Mayors. In a letter addressed to the Global Covenant of Mayors on 1 June, Mr Pigliaru wrote: "The time is ripe for US and EU cities to stand up together in defence of the vows made in Paris, especially as the majority of US citizens support the US participation in the Agreement."
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