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All Aboard! EU cities and regions to COP23  

The European Committee of the Regions will participate in the 23rd United Nations Climate Change Conference with a delegation of 20 members lead by President Karl-Heinz Lambertz.

COP23 will mirror the state of play of the international community towards global warming and seize the progress made on the implementation of the Paris agreement. In accordance with the CoR 2015-2020 political priorities and the 2017 work programme for its Commission for Environment, Climate Change and Energy, the CoR will participate in the COP23 to follow the negotiations as observer within the delegation of the European Union to COP23 and advocate its key political messages on climate change.

The main activities of the CoR in Bonn are:

Sunday 12 November | 10am - 6.30pm: Climate Summit of Local and Regional Leaders | Local and regional governments worldwide join forces to reach the 1.5 degree global target. Full programme attached | Bonn Zone – EU Pavilion | VIP Speakers (selected list by time slot):

  • Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Former Executive Secretary, Vice Chair, Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy

  • Ashok Sridharan, Lord Mayor, Bonn, ICLEI First Vice President

  • Armin Laschet, Minister-President, State of North Rhine-Westphalia

  • Hakima el Haité, Special Envoy for Climate, Kingdom of Morocco and High Level Champion, Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action

  • Edmund G. Brown, Governor, State of California, USA

  • H.E. Frank Bainimarama, Fiji Prime Minister and COP23 President

  • Bertrand Piccard, Solar Impulse

  • Maros Sefcovic, European Commission Vice President

  • Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions

  • Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive Secretary

Monday 13 November | 9.30am - 5.30pm: 'The Global Covenant of Mayors Day'. The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy: cities and local authorities for climate action. Full programme attached | EU Pavilion A01, Room Brussels, Bonn Zone |


  • Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy

  • Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions

A/ 9.45 – 11.15 | Transatlantic Dialogue on Climate Change | Focuses on cities and regions reinforced cooperation on climate as US announces the withdrawal of the Paris agreement| Speakers:

  • Introduced and moderated by Cor Lamers, Mayor of Schiedam, Netherlands, and Chair of the Commission for Environment, Climate Change and Energy of the European Committee of the Regions

  • Virginio Merola, Mayor, Bologna metropolitan city, Italy (invited)

  • Steve Benjamin , Mayor of Columbia, US, Vice President of the US Conference of Mayors (invited)

  • Eric Garcetti , Mayor of Los Angeles, US, and Co-Chair of Climate Mayors (invited)

  • Jenny Gerbasi , President of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities

  • Daniël Termont , Mayor of Ghent, Belgium, and Member of the EU CoM Board

B/ 11.30 – 13.00 | Partnerships between cities, regions, and national governments for accelerating climate action | Speakers:

  • Introduced and moderated by Ailio Eero, European Commission, Directorate General for Energy

  • Mercè Conesa i Pagès , President of the Province of Barcelona & Mayor of Sant Cugat del Vallès, Member of Board of the EU CoM

  • Francesco Pigliaru , President of Sardinia, Member of the Committee of the Regions

  • Gen. Ahmed Abdallah , Governor of the Red Sea Governorate, Egypt;

  • Bima Arya Sugiarto , Mayor of Bogor, Indonesia

  • Mr. Erias Lukwago , Lord Mayor of Kampala, Republic of Uganda

  • Monica Fein , Mayor of the City of Rosario, Argentina, and President of the Executive Board of RAMCC (invited)

C/ 14.15 – 15.30 | Facilitating access to finance for climate change mitigation, resilience and sustainable energy in cities | Speakers:

  • Introduced and moderated by Roberto Ridolfi, Director, Directorate for Planet and Prosperity, Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission

  • Asa Karlsson Björkmarker , Deputy Mayor, City of Växjö, Sweden, Member of the Covenant of Mayors

  • Josue Tanaka , Managing Director, Operational Strategy and Planning, Energy Efficiency and Climate Change, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development;

  • Christine Rodwell , Vice President for Business development, cities innovation and markets, VEOLIA (invited)

  • Omar Hejira , Mayor of Oujda, Morocco

  • Vahe Nikoyan , Deputy Mayor of Yerevan, Armenia (invited)

  • Maria Carolina Barco Isakson , Coordinator of the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Platform, Inter-American Development Bank, IADB (invited)

D/ 15.45 – 17.15 | Promoting integrated planning and implementation of climate action

  • Introduced and moderated by Yvon Slingenberg, Director, International and Mainstreaming, Directorate General for Climate Action, European Commission
  • Luc Aktropo , Mayor of Bohicon, President of Communaute des communes de Zou (CCZ), Benin, Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Mohamed Sefiani , Mayor of Chefchaouen, Morocco, Member of the Board of the Global Covenant of Mayors
  • Juan Espadas , Mayor of Seville, Spain
  • Mauricio Esteban Rodas Espinel, Mayor of Quito, Ecuador, Member of the Board of the Global Covenant of Mayors
  • Jonas Donizette , Mayor of Campinas, Brazil, and President of FNP – The National Association of Mayors of Brazil
  • Kimura Mashiro , Head of Service, Planning, Environment and Sustainable Development, Tokyo


  • Miguel Arias Cañete , EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy

  • Hakima el Haité , Special Envoy for Climate, Kingdom of Morocco and High Level Champion, Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action


What's at stake in Bonn?

  • The Paris agreement governance and work programme: while the role of cities and regions in combating global warming was formally recognized by the Paris agreement, local and regional authorities must be more extensively involved in the preparation and implementation of the agreement's work programme including national energy and climate plans. A well-functioning multi-level governance framework is crucial in climate action.

  • Climate finance: the CoR calls for proper financing opportunities to be developed and creating new instruments such as green bonds and collective guarantees in order to facilitate financing. Local governments recommend medium-term climate investments to be included in national plans on climate.

    EU's assembly of cities and regions has recently commissioned a report on climate finance. It identifies existing schemes at the EU and international levels, draws faced obstacles and ways to overcome them. Access the full report on 'Financing climate action: opportunities and challenges for local and regional authorities' . Under the current budget period, the EU is committed to deploy 20% of the 2014-2020 EU budget to climate action.

  • Locally Determined Contributions (LDCs): There is currently a gap between the CO2 reduction commitments made by national governments and the objectives of the Paris agreement. The CoR supports the formulation and allocation of Locally Determined Contributions in addition to Nationally Determined Contributions as way to reach and even exceed objectives in addition to formally acknowledging local governments' achievements in terms of CO2 emissions reduction. Therefore, call on the EU institutions to work with the relevant national and international networks to develop the necessary methodologies.

  • Cities lead the way: while President Trump is to take the U.S. out of the Paris agreement, cites and regional governmental worldwide are reaffirming their commitments to fight global warming and taking the lead on climate action. Be that through the Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM) or the recently launched America's pledge, local governments across the world are building alliances to deliver climate action locally. The CoR is a member of the Founders Council of the GCoM and is committed to promote its climate benefits and achievements at COP23. The CoR signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the US Conference of Mayors US in 2010 and is exploring ways to work with the Federation of Canadian municipalities to contribute to expanding such transatlantic coalition on climate.

Organizer: CoR
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