January 21, 2022 5:13 pm

Climate change.- EU cities and regions drive the energy, climate and environment agenda for 2022


The Committee on the Environment, Climate Change of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) has debated this Tuesday and Wednesday on the energy, climate and environment agenda for 2022, highlighting three fundamental issues: the need to move towards zero pollution, make the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) and the Carbon Frontier Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) work for EU cities and regions and gender equality and climate.

As reported by the CoR, the conclusions of the Glasgow Climate Summit (COP26) have been part of the discussions and the reference of the Glasgow Climate Pact to “the urgent need for cooperative and multilevel action” has been celebrated. to the climate crisis.

The president of the ENVE Commission and of the ‘Green Deal Going Local’ working group and mayor of Seville, Juan Espadas, pointed out that COP26 has been an “important step forward in the recognition of the 1.5 ° C limit of increase in temperature as common global goals “. However, it has also made clear that many unsolved problems remain.

“As the European Committee of the Regions, we are ready to start working on these issues from now on and support the process with a view to making COP27 truly the COP of fair implementation and concrete financing, adaptation and loss and damage measures. “he added.

During the debate, Yunus Arikan, director of Global Advocacy of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives and focal point of Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) participated. Arikan provided an assessment of the achievements of sub-national governments at COP26. CoR members shared with Arikan their disappointment at the COP26 results in terms of climate ambition, which “could have been more concrete, and resources, which could have been better defined.”

However, they also recognized the positive steps taken by COP26 to strengthen the fight against temperature rise and recognize the fundamental role of local and regional entities within this process.

On November 23, the ENVE commission meeting also hosted the 2021 Transformative Action Award ceremony. The winning project is ‘La Titaranya’, a housing cooperative in the heart of the Catalan city of Valls, whose objective is the physical and social rehabilitation of a run-down neighborhood. The project has been awarded for its ability to catalyze a sociocultural, socioeconomic and technological transformation within its community.

The members of the ENVE commission approved various draft opinions. Among them, the document ‘Making the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) and the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) work for EU cities and regions’, by rapporteur Peter Kurz .

“The Emissions Trading System is the most successful measure to date to reduce CO2. As part of the ‘Fit For Package 55’, it is being expanded to include the construction and mobility sectors, as so far clearly not they have reached the CO2 saving targets “, he pointed out.

In these sectors, however, as he commented, it is important to give compensation to the people and regions particularly affected. “Therefore, we propose to directly involve local and regional authorities in the revenues generated by the auction of emission rights. This should make the transformation socially sustainable in the relevant regions,” said the Mayor of Mannheim (Germany). Draft opinion must be adopted by the CoR plenary session in April 2022.

The ‘EU Action Plan: Towards Zero Air, Water and Soil Pollution’ was also adopted, by rapporteur Marieke Schouten (Netherlands / The Greens). “Local and regional authorities have the key responsibility to ensure healthy living conditions for citizens and are at the forefront of the implementation of laws, policies and programs related to pollution,” he said.

In his view, the complex causes and effects of pollution, conflicting interests and the gap between policy and practice create obstacles to doing so sufficiently.

“With more effective and focused cooperation between authorities, stronger administrative and compliance mechanisms, and access to data and knowledge, local and regional authorities can effectively contribute to the achievement of the zero pollution goal,” he added. The draft opinion must be adopted by the plenary session of the CoR in January 2022.

Finally, the draft opinion ‘Gender equality and climate change: towards the integration of the gender perspective in the European Green Deal’ was approved, by the speaker Kata Tütto (HU / PES). “Gender equality is a fundamental principle of the European Union and, as such, must be at the center of all its policies, especially the European Green Deal. Climate policies have gender differences,” concluded the Deputy Mayor of Budapest .


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