Considering the COP27 context, supporting and strengthening the voice of local and regional authorities and their efforts is crucial. LRAs became important actors in climate change discussions, formulating and implementing adaptation policies and setting mitigation goals and targets. Hence the importance of building a momentum on the CoR's involvement in consecutive COPs, by including the external relations dimension.
In the framework of the CIVEX commission remits, all CoR external relations bodies (ARLEM, CORLEAP, WGs/JCCs, P2P and the Forum "Cities and regions for international partnerships") are engaged in the delivery of the global climate goals, as committed in their respective Action Plans and Work Programmes. Hence this opinion showcases their work.
This opinion complements and upgrades the CoR's commitment on the subnational climate diplomacy by widening its institutional sphere and capitalising on the existing bodies. A reinforced voice of EU local and regional authorities partnering up with their external peers would empower the CoR's call for a more structural role for local and regional governments within the global climate agenda that might e.g. lead to requesting observer status in the UNFCCC (from COP 28 on) and underlining the substance of such a request.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- stresses the importance of subnational governments in achieving climate ambition with a focus on the future implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in fulfilling the provisions of the Paris Agreement in order to achieve the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5˚C;
- urges the national governments when negotiating the terms of global climate goals and define National Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) to truly involve their local and regional governments;
- calls, therefore, on the European Commission to address the gaps and limitations and to boost subnational climate diplomacy between EU cities, regions and the EU's neighbouring and partnering countries ahead of the next Conferences of the Parties;
- stands ready to serve as the main coordinating institution for subnational climate diplomacy in the EU and its neighbouring countries. The CoR is ready to assume greater responsibility at COP meetings, to play a coordinating role, and to represent the positions of regional and local authorities from the EU, in partnership with the Western Balkans and Turkey as well as EU's Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood;
- calls on the European institutions, international financial institutions and all international partners, including LRAs in the EU who will contribute to the rebuilding and reconstruction of Ukrainian cities and towns as well as industrial and energy sites destroyed by the Russian war, to gear reconstruction investment towards the key aspects of the Paris Agreement as well as towards the objectives of the EU's Green Deal;
- points out that all CoR external relations bodies and platforms (ARLEM, CORLEAP, working groups/joint consultative committees, peer-to-peer cooperation and the "Cities and regions for international partnerships" forum) are actively engaged in delivering on global climate goals, to which they have committed in their respective action plans and work programmes.