European Green Deal is the new growth strategy that must drive the EU towards climate neutrality by 2050. The European Green Deal implies major changes in multiple sectors at all levels: from climate to energy, from transport to biodiversity protection, from agriculture to a more circular economy. Therefore, every city and region must be part of this historic opportunity, proactively taking part in mechanisms of multilevel governance in cooperation with national governments and the EU, not least with neighbouring regions across the continent.
European Climate Pact plays a pivotal role in the full implementation of the European Green Deal. The Climate Pact will focus on spreading awareness and supporting action, in order to connect and collectively develop and implement climate solutions, big and small. By sharing ideas and best practices, we can multiply their impact. Its specific objectives are:
Connect and share knowledge
Learn about climate change
Develop, implement and scale up solutions
The Climate Pact offers a framework for partnership between all levels of government, citizens, businesses, civil society organisations and relevant stakeholders.
In the starting phase, the Climate Pact will focus on four topics: Green areas, Green transport, Green buildings, Green skills and will expand over time.
Getting involved in EU and global initiatives on the Green Deal
The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) aims at accompanying local and regional authorities in this transition by creating a bridge between Brussels and all EU territories with a view to make the Green Deal a success on the ground and bring it closer to European citizens.
The CoR is cooperating with the European Commission in order to make the Climate Pact a success. The 'Green Deal Going Local' is a new initiative of the European Committee of the Regions that aims at placing cities and regions at the core of the European Green Deal and ensure that both the EU's sustainable growth strategy and the COVID-19 recovery plan translate into direct funding for cities and regions and tangible projects for every territory. Green Deal Going Local is composed of a working group and multiple communication activities.
Getting involved as CoR member
Local and regional authorities are key implementers of the European Green Deal. Its success will largely depend on the capacity of local and regional administrators to implement policies and create frontrunner experiences in their territory. Success will also depend on the capacity of national governments and EU Institutions to understand the specific needs of every territory. It is therefore crucial to directly involve cities and regions in the design and implementation of Green Deal investments. It also essential to strengthen the mechanisms of cohesion and regional funds for cities and regions to have direct access to EU resources, precisely because local and regional authorities are the ones best placed to know the realities on the ground.
The CoR has launched a call for CoR Climate Pact Ambassadors for Members actively promoting the Green Deal in their territories through political activities and best practice. The CoR Climate Pact Ambassadors will also provide periodical feedback on the effectiveness of EU policies on the ground and promote vertical integration. All CoR members can apply here to become CoR Climate Pact Ambassadors.
The call for CoR Climate Pact Ambassadors is one of the key actions of the CoR for the Climate Pact. The CoR also supports various initiatives, with the aim of enhancing the capacity of CoR members, as well as other local and regional authorities, to lead the way towards climate neutrality. Every climate action, every climate commitment, every climate achievement is crucial.
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Getting involved as local and regional authority
Several EU initiatives have been launched to support local and regional authorities willing to be active in the fields of the Green Deal. Here you can find some of them:
The Covenant of Mayors
is a flagship EU initiative to promote climate and energy action on the ground, while showcasing the crucial role that cities and regions play in the clean energy transition and the fight against climate change. Through the Covenant of Mayors Office in Brussels, the European Commission is providing a strong technical support and guidance on financial instruments for cities and regions willing to set up sustainable energy and climate action plans (SECAPs). In addition, hundreds of regions, provinces, associations of local and regional governments and national ministries, as well as thematic agencies for energy or environment, are joining forces within the Covenant as to support cities and towns across Europe meet their climate commitments.
The Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is open to all local authorities democratically constituted with/by elected representatives, regardless of their size or stage of implementation of their energy and climate policies.
Click here to join the Covenant of Mayors.
The Green City Accord is a European Commission initiative gathering European mayors committed to making cities cleaner and healthier. By signing the Accord, cities commit to higher targets than the one's required by EU law, to be achieved by 2030 in five areas: air, water, noise, nature and biodiversity and circular economy and waste. The Green City Accord political commitment can be signed at any time by the city Mayor (or equivalent representative).
Building on the success of the Digital Cities Challenge, the Intelligent Cities Challenge is a European Commission initiative supporting and bringing together more than 100 smaller EU-cities to achieve green smart sustainable growth through advanced technologies. Cities can find more information in the ICC Concept Note and website.
This initiative is designed to help accelerate the transition from a linear to a circular economy in Europe, and thereby create a resource-efficient, low-carbon and socially responsible society. Signing the Circular Cities Declaration offers many benefits to cities and regions. Signatories will become part of a powerful, unified group of cities that will help raise awareness of the long-term political, societal, environmental and financial benefits of the circular economy, and contribute to the development of a supportive political framework. More information on the Declaration and how to sign it can be found on the website.
The purpose of the initiative is to bring together procuring public entities (including regions and cities) interested in taking part in working groups, in order to benefit from exchanges of good practices, joint market engagements, shared market intelligence, the latest guidance and technical developments. Ambitious public entities interested to work on innovation procurement in areas such as health, clean energy, low-carbon construction or intelligent transport. Working groups will be established starting from March or April 2021 for a period of two years. More information is accessible on the website.
The European Commission has introduced a Just transition platform aiming at assist EU countries and regions to unlock the support available through the Just Transition Mechanism. This platform is a single access point for support and knowledge related to the just transition, including funding opportunities, relevant
regulatory updates or sector specific initiatives.
The Initiative assists EU countries and coal regions tackling the challenges related to the transition to a low carbon economy. It aims to support, public administrations and other relevant stakeholders by connecting stakeholders, delivering
technical assistance (START) and providing support resources.
The Clean Energy for EU Islands supports EU islands that want to develop and implement a vision for their clean energy transition through a multi-stakeholders' participatory approach. By signing the Island Clean Energy Transition Pledge , the island becomes part of the network and can access support from the secretariat.
EU Islands' local and regional authorities can join here.
The Smart Cities Marketplace is a major market-changing undertaking supported by the European Commission bringing together cities, industries, SMEs, investors, researchers and other smart city actors. It supports smart city projects, which go beyond the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for better resource use and less emissions. Cities can submit here their smart cities project in need of finance to receive support from the Smart Cities Marketplace.
The Urban Agenda for the EU represents a new multi-level working method promoting cooperation between Member States, cities, the European Commission and other stakeholders to deal with the urban dimension of EU and national policies and legislation. Fourteen dedicated partnerships focusing on concrete priority themes have been set up, out of which eleven partnerships are directly linked to Green Deal policies. For each partnership, a non-binding action plan has been set up to provide guidance to stakeholders and is accessible in the subsequent websites:
o Air Quality
Jobs and Skills in the Local Economy
Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement
o Sustainable Use of Land and Nature-Based Solutions
Acknowledging the plethora of initiatives aimed boosting the capacity of LRAs to implement the Green Deal through various actions, the CoR has launched a study on what LRAs need to achieve the objectives of the Green Deal and climate neutrality.
Your city/region can also get involved in the following
Race to Zero is a global campaign to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, and investors in order to create an alliance of stakeholders committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. Cities, regions and other stakeholders can find information on the minimum criteria and more information on the way to participate to this alliance.
The Bloomberg Mayors Challenge goes global for its fifth edition. The 2021 Global Mayors Challenge will be the occasion for cities over 100 000 inhabitants to submit their urban innovation initiatives and may be one of the 15 winner cities of $1 million to implement their breakthrough idea. The first 500 applications will receive help to prepare the proposal and the 50 finalist cities will receive technical support. Participate to the challenge here!
The Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM) is the largest global alliance for city climate leadership, built upon the commitment of over 10,000 cities and local governments. These cities hail from 6 continents and 138 countries. In total, they represent more than 800 million people. The GCoM Board is co-chaired by European Commission Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Learn more on how to join the initiative here!