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UN COP27: Cities and regions push for greater climate ambition and stronger support amid the global energy crisis  

​​​ As part of the delegation of the European Union to COP27, local and regional leaders have discussed with the Czech Presidency, the European Commission, and the European Parliament concrete ways to strengthen climate governance and help citizens face global warming and unprecedented energy prices

The impact of the Russian invasion on Ukraine and of the energy crisis in global climate commitments, support for local and regional authorities to adapt to global warming, addressing loss and damage in most vulnerable countries, and a greater role for cities and regions in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. These are some of the key points discussed today at the Multilevel Climate and Energy Dialogue on COP27, organised by the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) in partnership with the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Today's Multilevel Climate and Energy Dialogue brought together all levels of government to discuss the EU's position on COP27 and the key stakes of the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), which will take place on 6-18 November in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, under the headline 'Together for implementation'.

In her opening statement, Alison Gilliland (IE/PES), Dublin City Councillor and CoR rapporteur of the opinion ‘Towards a structural inclusion of Cities and Regions in UNFCCC COP27’ , said “European cities and regions are facing unsustainable energy and living costs, undermining, and even stopping their actions to reach EU climate goals. In these circumstances, we acknowledge the challenge to put forward green solutions with local and regional leaders, but there can be no way back to old polluting practices. The EU delegation to COP27, including the European Committee of the Regions delegation, will encourage cities and regions across the EU and around the globe to come forward with more ambitious targets and policies and demand support for them.”

Olgierd Geblewicz (PL/EPP), President of West Pomerania Region and rapporteur of the opinion ‘The CoR's role in boosting subnational climate diplomacy ahead of COP27 and COP28’ , stressed that “In the current global context, COP27 will be about optimising resources and improving synergies between all levels of government to foster implementation rather than brave new commitments. We should avoid any blockage in climate talks and find new avenues for reducing emissions. A greater role for subnational governments in climate diplomacy can unlock better implementation and bring stronger commitments. I, therefore, reiterate the need to establish a system of Regionally and Locally Determined Contributions (RLDCs) as complementary to the National ones. Further support for city diplomacy as a tool to accelerate climate action by sharing experiences and projects on climate adaptation and mitigation.”

European Commission representative Jacob Werksman, Principal Adviser for International Aspects of EU Climate Policy, recalled that: "Success at COP27 depends on all Parties staying the course of ambition set out so clearly in Glasgow — despite the additional challenges of war, the energy and food crises and rising inflation. European leadership at the local and regional level in support of European climate policy and in staying the course will be essential to underpin the credibility of European global leadership in Sharm-el-Sheikh".

Representing the Presidency of the EU Council, Pavel Zamyslicky, Director of Energy and Climate Protection of the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic, declared: " COP27 represents another important milestone in the global climate negotiations and we hope for the successful implementation of all the initiatives launched last year in Glasgow." One of the major achievements of COP26 is the Glasgow Climate Pact , which requests countries to revisit and strengthen their 2030 climate targets by the end of 2022. In his concluding remarks, Pavel Zamyslicky stressed that "local and regional authorities' action is absolutely key for implementing climate mitigation and adaptation action as much as for building resilience'.

From the European Parliament, J avi López (S&D) and Petros Kokkalis (EPP) , co-rapporteurs of the EP Resolution on COP27 took the floor.

MEP Kokkalis said "The stakes are high for COP27. All governments must revisit and strengthen their climate pledges. The EU must play a leading role as only 15 countries globally have revised their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The climate crisis is ravaging people's lives and ecosystems all over world. We must therefore urgently define a global goal on adaptation and translate it into measurable outcomes."

MEP López said: "Despite the pledges made by Parties at COP26 in Glasgow, global climate targets and action remains insufficient. The commitments made so far by the signatories to the Paris Agreement will result in global temperature rise of 2.7° C by the end of the century. The increase in global energy-related CO2 emissions of over 2 billion tonnes in 2021 compared to 2020 was the largest year-on-year increase in history in absolute terms. We need to strengthen international coalitions for a high-ambition, high-environmental integrity outcome at COP27."

Both MEP Kokkali and López supported the CoR proposal of developing a system of Regionally and Locally Determined Contributions to complement national pledges.

The CoR delegation to COP27 will be led by President Vasco Alves Cordeiro. In addition to Alison Gilliland (IE/PES) and Olgierd Geblewicz (PL/EPP), other members of the CoR delegation to COP27 that took part in the dialogue include Vincent Chauvet (FR/Renew Europe), Mayor of Autun, Marieke Schouten (NL/Greens), Alderman of the municipality of Nieuwegein, Jakub Chełstowski (PL/ECR), Marshal of the Śląskie Voivodeship, Andries Gryffroy (BE/EA), Member of the Flemish Parliament, and Rafał Trzaskowski (PL/EPP), Mayor of Warsaw.

Background information.

The upcoming UNFCCC COP27 will be held at a turning point in history. The two reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published this year confirmed that the window to secure a liveable future is closing fast and the implications of the war in Ukraine on energy supply and prices threaten to impact international climate negotiations. The European Union, under the leadership of the Czech Presidency, will need to continue spearheading global climate action, ensuring that the energy crisis does not endanger the Paris Agreement goals and that the pledges and announcements on mitigation, adaptation and climate finance made at COP26 in Glasgow are implemented.

Click here to access the CoR web portal on COP27.

CoR draft opinion on ‘Towards a structural inclusion of Cities and Regions in UNFCCC COP27’.

CoR draft opinion on ‘The CoR’s role in boosting subnational climate diplomacy ahead of COP27 and COP28​’.​

This is the fifth Multilevel Climate and Energy Dialogue since this CoR initiative was launched in 2020.

2022 IPCCC report 'Mitigation of Climate Change.'

2022 IPCCC report 'Impact, Adaptation and vulnerability.'

Contacts:

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


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