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Cities and regions call for collective responsibility over the trajectory towards 2050 climate neutrality  

​The European Committee of the Regions has adopted the opinion of the President of Andalucía Juanma Moreno on the European Climate Law 

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) has adopted the opinion "European Climate Law: enshrining the 2050 climate neutrality objective​" by rapporteur Juanma Moreno (ES/EPP), President of Andalusia. The European Climate Law, as the legal pillar of the Green Deal, needs to fully engage cities and regions in the design of the trajectory towards 2050. Members request local and regional climate inventories and objectives and call for a permanent Multilevel Energy Dialogue Platform and a European climate neutrality observatory. Data for monitoring progress should be collected at regional, rather than national level. Renewables rather than nuclear energy should power the path towards climate-neutrality.

The EU's assembly of local and regional representatives supports the establishment of a legally binding climate neutrality objective and points out that the COVID-19 crisis merely increases the need to transition towards a more sustainable and resilient society. The transition must be fair, gradual and permanent, members have underlined.

The president of Andalusia and rapporteur Juanma Moreno (ES/EPP) declared: "Europe must continue to lead the global fight against climate change. Cities and regions have a crucial role to play in achieving climate neutrality, an objective that should be compatible and even boost regional economic development and job creation. We must carry out this transition fairly, equitably and leaving no one behind, involving our citizens and making them participants of the  transition as they are pivotal in scaling up sustainable lifestyles and consumption patterns. We reiterate our call for climate goals to be reached through renewable energy rather than an increased use of nuclear energy."

As Europe is characterised by the diversity of its regions in terms of climate, environment, landscape, mobility and economic and social structure, the success of the climate objective will depend heavily on local and regional authorities, members recall.

All relevant subnational governments in the EU must be engaged in the drafting and the shaping the EU's trajectory from 2030 to 2050, as well as in national energy and climate plans (NECPs) and long-term national policies through a genuine participatory multilevel dialogue. The CoR therefore renews its call to the Member States and the European Commission to establish a permanent Multilevel Energy Dialogue Platform.

To discern specific scenarios for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and draw up tailored plans for each region, members ask that Member State's national climate inventories are developed at the local and regional level with the direct participation of cities and regions. Equally, data for monitoring progress under the European Climate Law should be collected at regional, rather than national level.

On the international, Paris Agreement level, the CoR reiterates its call for nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to include a regional and local breakdown. Local and regional climate objectives would improve accuracy in progress monitoring and reduce the risks of climate action negatively affecting cohesion in the EU.

The CoR stresses the positive economic impact of direct and tailor-made funding for cities and regions in line with their specific challenges and targets.

The EU's assembly of cities and regions reiterates its call for a European climate neutrality observatory as to help meet national obligations and submit progress reports in the framework of the Governance Regulation of the Energy Union.

Members suggest integrating the European Climate Pact into the European Climate Law and propose that the Pact translates into an innovative governance instrument that engages with citizens and key stakeholders through a two-way communication, cooperation and information exchange.

The CoR underlines that climate neutrality should be reached by means of renewable energies rather than by an increased use of nuclear energy.

The European Committee of the Regions calls on the European Commission to consider the impact of the United Kingdom leaving the EU on both the climate-neutrality objective and interim targets. The UK is currently the EU's second‑largest CO2 emitter and its planned reductions are well above the EU average.

The adopted opinion feeds the inter-institutional debate on the European Climate Law, which is currently under discussion in the Council of the European Union. The European Parliament has appointed rapporteur Jytte Guteland (SE/S&D). The EP plenary adoption is planned in September 2020.

The opinion was presented alongside a high-level debate on the European Green Deal, the EU's growth strategy to reach climate-neutrality by 2050. On 15 June, the CoR launched the working group 'Green Deal Going Local'. Composed of 13 local and regional elected representatives, it aims at converting the Green Deal into concrete projects and direct funding for cities and regions to deliver the sustainable transition on the ground.

Background:

'The COVID-19 recovery plan is an opportunity to carry out a truly green revolution'. Read here the interview with the President of Andalusia, Juanma Moreno (20 May 2020).

Click here to reach the new web portal 'Green Deal Going Local'. 

Contact:

David Crous
david.crous@cor.europa.eu
+32 (0) 470 88 10 37