Climate Pact Ambassadors and DG CLIMA discuss possible ways to improve citizen’s engagement as well as areas of collaboration in measures and practices towards the European Climate Pact.
The Climate Pact Ambassadors of the European Committee of the Regions and the Directorate General Climate Action of the European Commission debated on the first CoR Climate Ambassadors event on the possibilities offered by the initiative whose purpose is to get individuals, communities and organisations involved in climate actions and build a greener Europe. Climate Pact Ambassadors play a key role in the CoR’s actions for the Climate Pact.
The event started with an introduction from Kartazyna Balucka-Debska from DG CLIMA on the European Climate Pact where she said: “More than 90% of the Europeans see climate change as a serious problem and support action to tackle it. However, it is not always clear what action to take and how to effectively contribute to overcoming the climate crisis, either as an individual or as a local or regional leader. This is the starting point of the European Climate Pact. The role of cities and regions is crucial in this regard, since they are the level of government closest to the citizens and responsible of implementing a substantial part of policies to achieve a green and just transition.”
The Ambassadors debated on how to improve citizen’s engagement in climate action as well as on the ways to collaborate better on a regional and national level. The acceptance and participation of the population in climate action is a great challenge, according to Kata Tüttő, Deputy-Mayor of Budapest, which can only be overcome with a lot of time and patience. It is important to involve all groups of the population and to develop an understanding for the Climate Pact. Sophia Teles, Climate Pact Ambassador in the Netherlands, stated that the Climate Pact’s Peer Parliaments, which are about people getting together to debate how they want to see the transition to climate neutrality working in practice, give a great opportunity to identify the citizen’s direct concerns when it comes to climate action.
The European Commission has launched the Climate Pact for which the European Committee of the Regions is committed to actively contribute to, starting by promoting its objectives and fostering participation, in particular from local and regional authorities across the EU. The Climate Pact is a participatory platform in support of the European Green Deal.
In order to be more efficient when it comes to climate actions on a regional, national and European level, the Climate Pact Ambassadors collectively agreed that taking action together will enhance the awareness of European citizens. Sharing regional and national initiatives as well as more collaboration on climate action is a crucial point to create an understanding of the importance of the Climate Pact and EU Green Deal. Markku Markkula, Chair of the Espoo City Board and President of the Helsinki Region, emphasized that the lessons regional and local authorities can learn from each other are crucial measures to increasingly collaborate on the European level.
Laurence Graff and Kartazyna Balucka-Debska from the DG Climate Action suggested to not only mobilise further on a regional, national and European level, but to also have sufficient critical support to increase the engagement of citizens. The Peer Parliaments as well as the collaboration of regional and local authorities will inspire other regions to adopt similar schemes. For 2022 the DG suggested to have common pledges in order to have concrete solutions. The 38 CoR Ambassadors for the Climate Pact are already included in the broader network launched by the European Commission, and some of them have already registered their activities as satellite events. More importantly, the creation of a guide of financial support available from the EU side and the reinforcement of the Green Deal Going Local online webpage and Map of commitments, which will be complemented with relevant information from the constituency on the Green Deal through a Survey, will be an important step. The webpage is expected to become a knowledge hub, providing a window on the main funding opportunities and showcasing ongoing best practices.
Click here for more background information on the CoR Climate Pact Ambassadors event.
Source: CoR Climate Pact Ambassadors call for more collaboration on key initiatives towards the European Climate Pact (europa.eu)
Photo Credit : https://pixabay.com/nl/photos/klimaat-verandering-droogte-4803653/