CoR calls for more implication of regions and cities on climate action

The Committee of the Regions (CoR) adopted on 6 October, during the celebration of the Open Days 2010 held in Brussels, a Resolution on the Cancun Climate Summit appealing to regions and local authorities to sign local climate action pacts setting out concrete measures in the fight against climate change.

The Committee of the Regions reminded regions and local authorities that they have a tremendous role to play when it comes to achieving better resource efficiency and a more climate-friendly economy at local level. Besides, as stated by the Resolution on the Cancun Climate Summit, they must raise public awareness, mobilise public political support, business investment and funding sources and motivate producers and consumers to change their behaviour.

In its Cancun resolution  the CoR reaffirms its call for an international climate change agreement limiting global warming to no more than 2ºC by 2012.

This appeal follows the signing the previous days of a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation on climate action by CoR President Mercedes Bresso and Elizabeth B. Kautz, President of the United States Conference of Mayors. The memorandum strives to accelerate local measures on both sides of the Atlantic to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, to promote renewable energy sources and sustainable urban mobility, as well as to change citizens' behaviour.

To enhance the financing of local climate action the Committee of the Regions requests that climate change is mainstreamed in budgets at all government levels. Climate action should become a transversal priority in the forthcoming EU Budget, while access to European Investment Bank loans for regions and local authorities should be facilitated. A substantial portion of the revenues from the European emissions trading system should be made available to local and regional authorities for putting climate change mitigation and adaptation measures into effect.

The Committee has recommended the organization of training programmes for local and regional authorities as well as running climate change awareness campaigns for citizens. The CoR also recommends strategic public private partnerships, such as alliances between small and medium sized enterprises and local and regional authorities, with a view to further developing and applying low carbon technologies.

Furthermore, regions and cities should conclude local climate action pacts between public and private partners setting out concrete climate action measures to reach the 20-20-20 goal adopted by the Commission setting climate change reduction goals for the next decade.