Ahead of the UN's COP24 climate talks in Katowice, Poland, in November 2018, the CoR today held a high-level debate on climate action with Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for climate action and energy, who presented the EU's global climate objectives and the implications of the recent provisional agreement on the EU's energy union governance; the Mayor of Bonn and newly elected President of Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), Ashok Alexander Sridharan, who underlined the crucial importance of local and regional actors as a result of the COP23 talks held in Bonn in 2017; Mariusz Skiba, Deputy Mayor of Katowice, and Tomasz Chruszczow, Poland's Special Envoy for Climate Change, who set out hopes for COP24, which will be held in December.
Intervening on behalf of the PES Group, ENVE-coordinator André Van De Nadort, Mayor of Weststellingwerf (Netherlands) stressed: "There is an urgent need in Katowice to turn the global climate objectives agreed by national governments in Paris in 2015 into rules and guidelines, which have major implications for municipal and regional governments."
He went on emphasising that "We are looking forward to seeing the Member States' national climate and energy plans by the end of the year. In the absence of binding targets at national level for energy efficiencyand renewables, it is even more important that these national plans are sound, realistic and ambitious and are 'filled' by action at local and regional level. ", he stressed. "Many initiative at local and regional level, not least the Covenant of Mayors, show that multi-level action is the secret to success".
He also asked the EU Commissioner for practical support for the eight-member CoR delegation which would attend COP 24 in Poland, and Commissioner Cañete responded that the Commission would brief CoR members daily, thus giving them full information about the progress of the negotiations.
The CoR will contribute to the COP24 climate talks through an opinion on "Climate Governance after 2020: a European and Global Perspective – a contribution to the UNFCCC COP 24" by Andrew Cooper (EA/UK), which the PES Group fully supports. Its main request is to set up a system of locally/regionally determined contributions to complement the nationally determined contributions (NDCs), that is efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.