Six PES members participated in the delegation of the European Committee of the Regions, led by CoR President Karl-Heinz Lambertz, to COP23 (Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change), held in Bonn this week.
Taking part in a number of high-level side-events and debates in the Bonn-zone, PES members underlined the essential role of local and regional authorities in fighting climate change, adapting villages, cities and regions to the already visible more frequent extreme weather events, and promoting the wholesale transition towards a sustainable future.
1st Vice-Chair of the CoR's Commission for the Environment, Climate Change and Energy (ENVE) Roby Biwer, the CoR's rapporteur on Climate Finance Marco Dus, former ENVE Chair Francesco Pigliaru, as well as PES members Kata Tűttöand Zoltán Varga met with representatives of ICLEI, the international association of local governments for sustainability, the US Conference of Mayors as well as with colleagues from the European Commission and the European Parliament.
Expressing his satisfaction about the CoR's presence at COP23, President Lambertz underlined: "Paris will be remembered for uniting the world's national governments against climate change. Bonn will be remembered for uniting the world's regions and cities to deliver on those promises. The European Committee of the Regions wants the EU to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030, instead of 40%, and we want that serious thought is given to carbon tax and all other measures necessary to achieve this goal".
COP23, due to end on Nov 17th, is focused on sorting out the details of implementing the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change and setting the scene for a first stock-taking exercise on how much CO2 reduction is actually being achieved, by 2019.