Local Alliance: City and regional networks urge EU to stay the course on Green Deal implementation

Local Alliance: City and regional networks urge EU to stay the course on Green Deal implementation

Eight leading networks of European cities and regions - ACR+, CEMR, Climate Alliance, Energy Cities, Eurocities, FEDARENE, ICLEI Europe and POLIS - have come together to form the Local Alliance

In a joint letter, the Alliance calls on EU leaders to find new ways to effectively roll out the European Green Deal at local level. The EU must “stay the course on the European Green Deal under this and the next mandate of the European Commission,” the networks have stated.

Recent challenges, such as the passage of the Nature Restoration Law, which still languishes with the European Council, or the last-minute setbacks suffered by the internal combustion engine phase out, are undermining the Green’s Deal objectives. As the European elections approach, the EU must ensure it remains a global beacon for climate leadership.

Given the more complicated arena for climate legislation that lies ahead, local leaders are adamant that the EU’s commitment to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 should remain a top priority, delivering a just transition that works for people and planet.

Cities and regions are where at least 70% of the European Green Deal legislation must be implemented. European local and regional governments have already embarked on the journey to climate neutrality and started to transform European cities and regions, as well as ways of living, heating and cooling, housing, mobility, producing and consuming for millions of citizens. Today, the EU’s subnational governments mobilise around 58% of climate-significant public expenditures, surpassing their central governments.

“European cities and regions have embraced the EU Green Deal and engaged their local communities in bringing about sustainable local change. We call on EU and national decision makers to take the next step in providing clarity, financial support and meaningful cooperation mechanisms to help put policy into practice. In this EU election year, it is more urgent than ever to bring on board local governments as serious partners for shaping a sustainable, fair, democratic and just European future.” - Wolfgang Teubner, Regional Director, ICLEI Europe.

In the letter sent to EU leaders, the Local Alliance highlights that Europe’s pace of success to achieve the Green Deal objectives will depend on the following help for cities and regions:

  • • More joined up support for investments from the EU, national and regional funds across different funding programmes and actors, which are more responsive to locally developed, integrated and holistic action and investment plans. This would also be a prerequisite for creating local jobs and markets for the European green industry.

Local leaders highlight that partnership between all levels of government is key as “Financing the local transition to climate neutrality will require mobilising the EU and national budgets.”

  • • Cities and regions need adequate in-house skills and a workforce to successfully do their part of the climate neutrality transition and by doing so, to create demand for European businesses and industries.

“These opportunities are the best way to create local investment potential for European industry, and to share the transition benefits for all EU citizens,” say the Local Alliance leaders.

  • • Establishing structured dialogues with the local and regional level at the EU and national level will be critical to achieving the necessary transformation and societal resilience at scale in Europe.

It is only with cities, regional and local governments on board – the closest level of government to people and the one responsible for implementing most of the European Green Deal legislation - that we can fully meet the objective of a climate neutral Europe by 2050.

The Local Alliance further repeats its commitment to work with national governments, the European Council, Commission and Parliament to turn the European Green Deal into reality for every citizen across Europe.

The members of the Local Alliance are:

The Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource management (ACR+) has been advocating for decentralised authorities’ crucial role regarding material resources and circular economy for 30 years already. The international network gathers local and regional authorities working for waste-free circular systems in their territories and beyond, together with other stakeholders. Through its various activities, ACR+ provides its members with concrete tools, technical data, and innovative approaches to enact a just and sustainable transition.

Bringing together the voices of one million local leaders, The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) has advocated for ensuring that decisions made at the European level are fair and sustainable for local governments and their citizens since 1951. Mayors and local elected officials are at the forefront of responding to global challenges such as climate change and migration, translating policies into tangible actions on the ground. They are also responsible for implementing 70% of EU legislation. That's why at CEMR, we advocate for ensuring their voices are heard at every stage of the decision-making process.

For over 30 years, Climate Alliance member municipalities have been acting in partnership with indigenous rainforest peoples for the benefit of the global climate. With nearly 2,000 members spread across 25 European countries, Climate Alliance is one of the leading city networks dedicated to comprehensive and equitable climate action. Recognising the impact our lifestyles can have on the world's most vulnerable people and places, Climate Alliance pairs local action with global responsibility.

Energy Cities is the European network of local authorities in energy transition. Created in 1990 as a non-profit organisation, Energy Cities now represents over 1,000 cities in 30 European countries. Energy Cities empowers local communities to shape and transition to future proof cities, by showcasing concrete alternatives deployed by cities, advocating to change political and economic governance at all levels and fostering a wide cultural change.

Eurocities wants to make cities places where everyone can enjoy a good quality of life, is able to move around safely, access quality and inclusive public services and benefit from a healthy environment. We do this by networking more than 200 larger European cities, which represent some 150 million people across 38 countries, and by gathering evidence of how policy making impacts on people to inspire other cities and EU decision makers.

FEDARENE is a European network of regions and regional and local energy agencies which implement, co-ordinate and facilitate energy and environment policies. More than 80 regional and local agencies, regional governments and departments across over 50 different regions are part of the federation.

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network of more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development and is active in 125+ countries. ICLEI Europe supports local governments in implementing the European Green Deal, the overarching EU strategy for climate neutrality, to build more resilient and equitable communities.

POLIS is a Brussels-based non-profit founded in 1998, uniting European cities and regions to promote sustainable urban transport innovation. It facilitates knowledge sharing among members, fosters dialogue with industry and research, and advocates for its members in shaping EU mobility policy.

 

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