In the context of the United Nations (UN)
Convention on Biological Diversity
that is taking place in Montreal, EU cities and
regions are pushing for more ambitious biodiversity
targets while calling for a formal recognition of
subnational governments in protecting ecosystems
and restoring natural habitats. Zero pollution and
the outcomes of the UN climate talks
were additional items in the agenda of the ENVE
commission meeting which also hosted the
2022 Transformative Action Award ceremony.
Despite COP27's agreement on a new
loss and damage fund, the UN climate talks in
Sharm el-Sheikh saw no substantial increase in
climate commitments. While greenhouse gas emissions
keep rising, cities and regions worldwide – under
the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities
(LGMA) constituency to the UN,
showed climate leadership at COP27 to defend
their role in delivering climate action.
During a debate on the outcomes of COP27,
Rafał Trzaskowski (PL/EPP), Mayor of Warsaw and chair of the
and of the
Green Deal Going Local
working group, said: "
I welcome the fact that cities and regions were
recognised as "instrumental to broaden climate
action and respond to climate change" in the COP27
conclusions. However I reiterate my call for their
formal inclusion in the UNFCCC process. With the
lack of action at the international or national
levels, local and regional authorities are leading
by example, setting more ambitious goals for
climate neutrality and transforming local
communities into more sustainable, healthier and
more attractive places to live. That is why, in
line with their legal responsibilities, cities and
regions need direct EU funding and fast-track
access to additional funds via the REPowerEU
chapters in the Recovery and Resilience Plans."
Members adopted a
draft opinion on the EU Nature Restoration Law, contributing to the proposal published by the
European Commission on 22 June which includes an
overarching obligation to restore 20 per cent of the
EU’s land and sea by 2030.
Roby Biwer (LU/PES), member of the Bettembourg Municipal Council and
rapporteur of the opinion, said: "
With the new EU Nature Restoration Law, we are
changing the paradigm, seeking to manage habitats
to facilitate the restoration of biodiversity that
is suffering increasing loss. We welcome the new
binding targets for the coming years for Member
states and we support the establishment of
sanctions if they do not implement them. Regional
and local authorities are already implementing
projects for biodiversity, working in synergies to
create a biotope. At COP15, we will push for this
approach to be replicated globally."
The draft opinion is to be adopted at the 7-8-9
February 2023 plenary session. Rapporteur Roby Biwer is
a member of the
CoR delegation to COP15.
The CoR hosted the
2022 Transformative Action Award ceremony. The winner is
the Valea Jiului Development Society (Romania) with
a project that focuses on strengthening local civil
society, promoting sustainable development and
fostering collaboration and equitable investments
in the Jiu Valley, a former mining region.
How to reduce air, water and soil pollution will be the
key topic of the
Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform Conference
that will take place next
in the European Commission's headquarters, which will
open with messages from
EC Executive Vice President, Frans Timmermans
and the 1st Vice President of the European Committee of
The CoR has signed an action plan with
for 2022-2024, with the aim to facilitate cooperation
and promote shared goals and objectives in climate
policies, biodiversity, regional development and
The ENVE commission appointed three rapporteurs:
Åsa Ågren Wikström (SE/EPP), Member of Västerbotten County Council, on a
legislative opinion on the Revision of the Urban Waste
Water Treatment Directive.
Una Power (IE/Greens), Councillor of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council,
on a legislative opinion on the Revision of the EU
Ambient Air Quality Legislation.
Andries Gryffroy (BE/EA), Member of the Flemish Parliament, on 'Fostering the
potential and synergies of EU energy and climate
initiatives for regions and cities'.
Members discussed the contribution of the ENVE
Commission to the CoR Impact Report 2022 and the 2023
work programme which is to be adopted at the next ENVE
commission meeting on February 14th.
The documents of the meeting are accessible
The photos of the 15TH ENVE Commission are available
The photos of the ceremony of the 2022 Transformative
Action Award are available
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