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Climate action: European Committee of the Regions and ICLEI renew partnership  

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability - today renewed its long-standing cooperation by signing a permanent Memorandum of Understanding along with an Action Plan for 2021-2022. Priority areas of cooperation include the European Green Deal, climate action and resilience, biodiversity, localising the Sustainable Development Goals and the circular economy.

The President of the European Committee of the Regions Apostolos Tzitzikostas said: "Today's signature formalises our long-last cooperation and shared commitment to climate action. By joining our resources, knowledge and political experience, we can ensure that climate and energy policies are built in partnership between all levels of government. Ahead of the COP26 in Scotland, we must continue raising the visibility of local and regional governments at the international level but we must also work together to raise cities and region's climate ambitions as to accelerate the transition towards climate-neutrality in every territory."

The Lord Mayor of Freiburg, Martin W.W. Horn, President of ICLEI Europe said: "Although we are intensely concerned by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we should not forget the important role that local and regional governments have to play in fighting climate change and pushing towards sustainable development. Particularly in Europe, local and regional governments are key in implementing the EU Green Deal for their citizens. The alignment of our strengths and forces through the ICLEI-CoR partnership is an important and valuable step towards meeting these goals." 

Juan Espadas (ES/PES), Mayor of Seville and the CoR's Chair of the ENVE commission and the Green Deal Going Local working group said: "I am delighted with the renewal of our cooperation. Together we have reached important achievements. First, in the formalisation at the UN level on the role of subnational governments in the implementation of the 2030 global biodiversity targets. On the climate front, we must carry on our cooperation for a full acknowledgment and recognition of the role of cities and regions in global climate action. For that purpose, the next COP26 in Glasgow will be pivotal. We have the responsibility to work together, because together we are stronger."

The MoU aims to foster the design and implementation of policies in support of climate neutrality, nature and biodiversity protection and sustainability. The CoR and ICLEI will reinforce its cooperation through:

·       regular exchanges at political level to discuss priorities;

·       participation by ICLEI to the CoR's legislative works;

·       joint efforts to uphold and promote multilevel governance;

·       cooperation in the global context to strengthen the recognition of LRAs role.  

The Action Plan 2021-2022 identifies specific areas of cooperation, which include the European Green Deal, climate action and resilience, biodiversity, localising the Sustainable Development Goals and the circular economy. The new Action Plan 2021-2022 has three specific objectives:

·       to provide reciprocal support, cooperate and ensure regular discussion on activities with regard to activities of common interest;

·       to promote, at the level of regional and local authorities, the concept of sustainable cities and territorial areas;

·       to promote the participation of regional and local authorities in activities that are considered a priority by the two institutions.

Two specific milestones are on the agenda for 2021. First, the UN CBD COP15 on biodiversity, scheduled for October 2021 in Kunming, China. Secondly, the UNFCCC COP26 on climate change, scheduled to take place in Glasgow on 1-12 November 2021.

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network of more than 1,750 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.

CoR and ICLEI have signed two action plans since 2017: one covering 2017-2018 and the most recent one 2019-2020. The main areas of cooperation have been climate change, biodiversity and the SDGs.


David Crous

+32 (0) 470 88 10 37

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