Members of the European Committee of the Regions adopted a resolution on the European Green Deal at their Plenary session on 5 December 2019, calling for a Deal that delivers at grassroots level, while striving for action at global level. The resolution asks for targeted actions and appropriate funding to support local and regional authorities in their climate efforts.
“Cities and regions expect the EU Green Deal to provide concrete solutions in line with local needs and opportunities. Without active subsidiarity, we will never succeed”, said Cor Lamers (EPP/NL), Chair of the CoR’s ENVE Commission during the Plenary debate with Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission. Lamers urged the Vice-President to push the EU member states to properly consult local and regional authorities on the National Energy and Climate Plans.
“We are committed to the European project, to the climate and to future generations,” said Isabel Diaz Ayuso (EPP/ES), President of the Madrid Region addressing the members of the CoR on COP25, which is currently taking place in Madrid.
A group of young elected politicians from across Europe presented their demands on urgent climate action during the Plenary debate. “Our young local leaders are raising the level of ambition. We need pioneer cities and regions around the world to reach these goals”, said Markku Markkula (EPP/FI), handing over examples of concrete climate action from the region of Helsinki to Vice-President Timmermans.
The European Commission is expected to announce the European Green Deal on 11 December 2019.
Read more about the work of EPP-led cities and regions on sustainable solutions for their citizens in the publication below.
The Green Deal in partnership with local and regional authorities: Key recommendations
Raise EU targets & ambition
Limit global warming to 1.5 °C, legal commitment to EU carbon-neutrality by 2050 & raise EU GHG reduction target to at least 55%, energy efficiency target to 40% and renewable energy to 40%, by 2030.
2030 waste targets: recycling of municipal waste to 70%, food waste reduction by 50% and maximum 5% landfilling.
Mainstream sustainability, work with local & regional governments
Clear plan: A Green Deal agenda with measurable objectives and targeted actions and funding, prepared together with cities and regions in the framework of implementing the UN’s SDGs. Progress should be monitored through the EU’s State of the Union process.
Launch Multilevel Climate and Energy Dialogues: involve local and regional authorities in the National Energy and Climate Plans, whist developing Locally and Regionally Determined Contributions.
New Green Deal Forum: CoR will launch a Forum of local and regional authorities to cooperate with the European Commission and Member States to review Green Deal implementation.
Sustainable EU: sustainability mainstreamed in all EU policies, macroeconomic priorities and financial instruments, the European Semester and EU budget post-2020.
Trade: EU trade agreements assessed against the objective of reducing GHG & sustainability.
Sustainable farming: strengthen financial aid for climate-friendly practices in both Common Agriculture Policy pillars.
Mobility: EU measures to ensure a better level playing field, including review of tax arrangements for certain fuels.
Environmental transition: call for an 8th Environment Action Programme aligned with the Green Deal; EU needs more ambitious policies on air and water quality, hazardous chemicals and pesticides in order to deliver an EU-zero pollution.
Financing the Green Deal
New resources: support Carbon Border, extend the Emissions Trading System & tax aviation fuel.
Just Transition Fund: new resources in addition EU cohesion policy funds.
Green EU budget post-2020: at least 30% of the EU budget post-2020 earmarked for climate and biodiversity action, phasing out subsidies for fossil fuels; funds for cohesion policy remain the same.
Contingency funds: financial support for the Green Deal if the EU Budget is not agreed by 2020.
State aid: increase permissible state aid & Energy Taxation Directive to promote low-emission fuels. EU subsidies, aid and support programmes that harm the environment should be abolished.
Finance housing renovations: calls for an EU Action plan for affordable housing to fight energy poverty, together with an ambitious financing plan for housing renovation.
Communicating with citizens
Conference on the Future of Europe: European Commission should co-organise citizens dialogues with the CoR, focused on the Green Deal and climate change.