Today, progressive local and regional leaders adopted the declaration "A fair Green Deal for all. 15 proposals to energise cities and regions".
It calls for promptly implementing relevant EU legislation, such as on improving air quality, making food systems fairer and healthier, eradicating energy and mobility poverty, and boosting green investments.
Adopted at the PES Group's participatory lab "Breathe, eat, live. The future of cities and regions with the EU Green Deal", the declaration will feed into the 2024 European elections Manifesto of the Party of European Socialists (PES), to be adopted at the PES Congress on 10-11 November 2023 in Malaga, Spain
Christophe Rouillon, President of the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions and Mayor of Coulaines, France, said: “To make the energy transition a success, Europe must not leave no citizen or territory behind. Our priority is to make the Green Deal socially fair and equitable. What differentiates us socialists from other political parties is our unequivocal will to combine the fight against climate change and the fight against social and territorial inequalities. During the next European term of office, we need a strong commitment from the European Union to financially support climate protection actions carried out by cities and regions.”
Vasco Alves Cordeiro, President of the European Committee of the Regions, underlined: "The progressive family has designed the blueprint for a socially fair Green Deal. We cannot let the energy transition lead to energy poverty. We cannot let the renovation wave increase housing poverty. The green and digital transitions cannot be translated into working poverty, mobility poverty or food poverty. If we want the European Green Deal to succeed, we need to implement the green transition with a strong human development approach and to fight poverty at all levels.”
Javi López, MEP (S&D/Spain), Member of the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, stated: "The European Green Deal is not merely an environmental initiative, but an opportunity to forge a future that is green, prosperous, fair and socially just. Our regions and cities stand at the forefront - as leaders, advocates, and implementers - in this monumental task. From championing the fundamental right to breathe clean air to ensuring universally accessible and affordable quality food and housing, we are committed to providing the tools and support to make the Green Deal a Fair Green Deal for every citizen across our territories."
Elly Schlein, Leader of Italy's Democratic Party (PD), emphasised: "We need an extraordinary political commitment, from national to local leadership level, to show that it is possible to achieve the ecological transition in a fair way. What we need now are radical decisions that allow us to move towards a zero-emission society and zero-emission economy, in a way that fosters all possible measures to prevent energy poverty, while demonstrating to citizens the added value of concrete choices such as reducing the energy consumption of buildings and car emissions, or opting for the restoration of green areas. We can only achieve all this if we keep together, as we European progressives do, with a strong focus on the local levels and citizens, on social issues, on innovating the economy. This is the way forwardand we must have the political courage to convince citizens that the Green Deal is the best way to make Europe fairer and more social.”
The event is kicking off the PES Group’s campaign on a #FairGreenDeal, which aims at showcasing how progressive cities and regions are promoting a fair and inclusive transition through their inspiring and innovative actions on the ground.
The full text of the declaration "A fair Green Deal for all. 15 proposals to energise cities and regions" is available here.