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Direct EU funds for cities and regions to tackle the energy crisis a key priority of Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw, as new chair of the European Committee of the Regions' ENVE Commission  

​ As Russia's illegal aggression to Ukraine keeps threating Europe, the Mayor of Warsaw places energy poverty and direct EU funds for cities and regions to tackle soaring energy prices and boost climate action as top priorities ​.

Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw, has been elected chair of the European Committee of the Regions' Commission for the Environment, Climate Change and Energy (ENVE) , in charge of the European Green Deal including energy and climate policies, biodiversity, circular economy and zero pollution. His mandate will last for two and a half years. Mayor Trzaskowski will also chair the Green Deal Going Local Working Group, leading the CoR's efforts to place cities and regions at the heart of the EU's transition towards climate neutrality.

With a strong and internationally recognised background defending environmental and social rights in Poland and globally, the Mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski (PL/EPP), has been elected new chair of the ENVE commission and of the Green Deal Going Local Working Group, today in Milan.

In his opening speech as new chair, Mayor Trzaskowski said: "The current geopolitical uncertainty, high inflation and energy prices caused by Russia's illegal war in Ukraine is not diminishing the climate emergency we live in. There is no time to lose. Tackling energy poverty, providing cities and regions with direct funds and technical assistance to improve energy efficiency, reduce energy bills and accelerate the deployment of renewable energies is the only way forward. Without involving citizens and local communities, we will not reach a sustainable and just transition for all. These are the key priorities I will focus on without forgetting the need to continue our work on biodiversity protection and restoration, reducing pollution and moving forward the circular economy agenda."

On the EU institutional front, Mayor Trzaskowski stressed: "Building up on our achievements, it is crucial that we reinforce institutional partnerships with the European Commission, the Parliament and the Council so that the voice of cities and regions is not left unheard and effectively shapes the European Green Deal legislation in the making. Local and regional authorities must be at the heart of the energy market structural reforms planned for 2023, with mandatory consultation mechanisms within the Energy Governance Regulation. The presence of CoR rapporteurs in the different Council configurations – be that working groups or ministerial councils – must be the rule, not the exception."

The president of the European Committee of the Regions, Vasco Alves Cordeiro , congratulated Mayor Trzaskowski for his election, saying: "In this critical moment for the European Union as a whole, the European Committee of the Regions will be able to count on an experienced and committed mayor like Rafał Trzaskowski as new Chair of the Commission on Environment, Climate Change and Energy. From the climate emergency to delivering the European Green Deal, from the rising energy costs to making the energy transition work, the European Committee of the Regions will continue supporting and defending the role of regions and cities in achieving a just and sustainable transition for all."

During its current mandate, which began in 2020, the CoR has concluded decisive agreements with the European Commission's directorate-general (DG) for Energy on a joint action plan on the Renovation Wave , the launch of the Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform with DG Environment and the setup of the Chamber of National Ambassadors of the Covenant of Mayors and the network of CoR Climate Pact Ambassadors , in cooperation with DG CLIMA.

At the international level and just four weeks before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27 ) kicks off in Sharm el-Sheikh, Mayor Trzaskowski welcomed the European Parliament ENVI committee's resolution on COP27, voted on Monday 3 October and which supports the CoR proposals for a stronger role of cities and regions in the implementation of the Paris agreement. " We are closely following up on Member States' positions on global climate negotiations and we look forward to the Council of the EU unequivocally supporting the urgent need for multilevel cooperation action and its support for the inclusion, within the COP27 final conclusions, of the need to fully involve local and regional authorities in the implementation of Paris agreement," said Mayor Trzaskowski. "The Edinburgh process and the framework of the UN's convention on biodiversity protection (CBD COP 15) is the example to follow", emphasised the new ENVE chair.

The City of Warsaw joined the Covenant of Mayors in February 2009. Under the leadership of Rafał Trzaskowski, the city of Warsaw has adopted an ambitious clean-air programme and has prioritised a modern, clean urban transport system, thermal retrofits of buildings in housing and in the public and service sectors, the implementation of renewable-energy production of electricity and heat, including waste-to-energy solutions, the reduction of energy consumption with new energy-efficiency technologies and citizens' involvement through awareness-raising and engagement campaigns.

Rafał Trzaskowski has been a member of the European Committee of the Regions since November 2019. Prior to that, he served as Member of the European Parliament (2009–13), Minister of Administration and Digitization (2013–14) and Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland (2014–15). Mayor Trzaskowski was elected Member of the Polish Parliament in 2015. In October 2018, he won the elections to become Mayor of Warsaw. As the candidate of the Civic Platform in the elections for the Presidency of Poland in May 2020, he received over 10 million votes, coming second with a 48.97% share of the vote.

At the European Committee of the Regions, Mayor Trzaskowski has been member of the COTER and ENVE
commissions and rapporteur of the opinions on 'The European Climate Pact' and 'Amending the Energy Efficiency Directive to meet the new 2030 climate targets'. Mayor Trzaskowski is an international reference in climate action, member of the Covenant of Mayors Political Board and Climate Pact Ambassador.

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