next > < previous
Sustainable development - 17.03.2009
European Council 19-20 March: no sustainable development without local and regional government !
The conclusions of the forthcoming European Council must include explicit reference to the role of local and regional authorities in the efforts to tackle climate change. Besides, their role must be taken into account in the EU position on the new international agreement that should be adopted in Copenhagen. This is what the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and four other associations of local and regional authorities* ask in a letter to the heads of states and government of the EU.
The European institutions seem to ignore so far the role of towns and regions. That role is not mentioned in the European Commission's communication « Towards a comprehensive climate change agreement in Copenhagen », neither in the conclusions of the 2 March 2009 Environment Council, nor in the 11 March 2009 European Parliament's resolution.
However, their expertise and proximity to citizens gives towns and regions a crucial role in the implementation of sustainable development. That vital role was acknowledged by the United Nations at the Earth Summit in Rio, in 1992.
Their importance has also been recognised in Europe, whether in the draft directive on the promotion of renewable energies or in the European Parliament recommendations on the future EU policy on climate change.
World leaders will gather in Copenhagen on 30 November 2009, for the 15th United Nations conference on climate change (COP 15). They will have to set up a mechanism to succeed the Kyoto protocol, due to expire in 2012. The EU's broad position on that future mechanism will be adopted at the next European Council by the heads of states and government of the EU.