Glasgow Chronicles: EU Cities and regions at COP26
(Source: European Committee of the Regions)
We are pleased to share the first of the COP26 Glasgow Chronicles series, intended to bring you updates on the activities and key messages that the members of the European Committee of the Regions are delivering at COP26, be that remotely or from Glasgow. Please click here to download the CoR official delegation and key messages to COP26. Here is our dedicated COP26 web portal.
DAY 1. On 31 October, COP26 opened its doors as the world celebrated “World Cities Day”. At a press conference in the Blue Zone, representatives of local and regional governments, which are gathered in the UN system as the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Constituency, announced the publication of the Time4MultilevelAction Roadmap: Implementing multilevel action in the age of climate emergency. The roadmap, which includes contributions from the CoR, is the occasion to call for ‘a new decade where multilevel collaborative action becomes the new normal as the beacon of hope to respond to the challenges of the age of climate emergency’. The European Committee of the Regions is part of the LGMA Constituency which activities are mainly concentrated in the Multilevel Action Pavilion in the COP26 Blue Zone. To follow online the events of the Multilevel Action Pavilion, please register here.
The LGMA COP26 opening press release includes a statement from President Apostolos TZITZIKOSTAS “The world is simply off track to avert the climate emergency. Subnational government’s climate commitments must be taken on board in the Nationally Determined Contributions, and they must be given a formal seat in the UNFCCC negotiations. I call on the UN, the EU and all national governments to ensure the regional and local dimension is included in the COP26 conclusions. We can no longer afford to ignore the fundamental role of every region, city and village in delivering climate action, or we will continue to fail our young people and our planet.“
The Time4MultilevelAction Roadmap includes the following reference to the CoR Within the European region, the unique institutional nature of the European Committee of the Regions may be a source of inspiration for other UN regions aiming at having a mandatory consultation in topics affecting the subnational level.”
The LGMA constituency roadmap was published ahead of world leaders travelling from Rome’s G20 to the COP26 in Glasgow. It sends a strong message from local and regional governments worldwide as Heads of State kick off negotiations.
Click here to download the COP26 Presidency Programme and here to register to the COP26 platform to follow events live from Glasgow. The UK presidency publishes daily news here. You can also get daily policy insights with COP26 bulletin from Vuelio.
While media monitoring will be delivered by the CoR’s Press Unit (D1.) Daily Press Review (as of Wednesday 3 November), we can already share that the President’s first COP26 statement was covered by Agence Belga, one of the CoR’s COP26 media partners together with Polish Press Agency, Agence Europe and Europa Press, without forgetting the list of media partners the CoR is working with annually. The CoR’s Unit D.1 daily press reviews are available in MyCoR.
DAY 2. On 1 November 2021 Kata TÜTTŐ (HU/PES), Deputy-Mayor of Budapest and CoR rapporteur on ‘Energy Poverty ‘ and ‘ Gender equality and climate change ‘, was the first CoR member to take the floor at COP26. She took part remotely in the first #Time4MultilevelAction Dialogue at the Multilevel Action Pavilion in the Blue Zone in Glasgow. The Multilevel Action Pavilion at the COP26 Blue Zone, hosted by the Scottish Government and convened by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, is the focal point of the LGMA Constituency in Glasgow.
Kata TÜTTŐ (HU/PES), who is also a Climate Pact Ambassador and Hungarian Ambassador of the Covenant of Mayors said: “I am honored to take the floor at COP26 as the deputy mayor of Budapest but also as the representative of the European Committee of the Regions, which is the voice of European cities and regions. It is not sufficient to set up clear climate targets. The key is on implementation. In the EU, cities and regions deliver 70 % of climate mitigation measures and 90 % of climate adaptation policies. Reinforcing multilevel collaboration and expanding the partnership principle is therefore vital. In the context of the COVID-19 recovery and energy poverty, especially looking at raising energy prices, we must place local governments and citizens on the table of this Conference of Parties. Otherwise, we put in danger the accomplishment of the ambitious climate goals we need to achieve to reverse the current climate emergency.”
#Time4MultilevelAction Dialogues are designed as a global exchange through a diversity of national and regional experiences with a view to influence COP26 outcomes in order to ensure multilevel action becomes the new normal in the next phase of the Paris Climate Agreement.
DAY 3. On Tuesday 2 November 2021, CoR former President Markku MARKKULA, (FI/EPP), took the floor remotely at an EU COP26 event on regional adaptation. The Member of the Espoo City Board and President of the Helsinki Region stressed ‘the need to move a systemic change forward at the city and regional level and get every stakeholder and citizen on board’, recalling it is undeniable that ‘everyone sees how climate change is increasing affecting our daily lives’. The CoR rapporteur on the opinion ‘Forging a climate-resilient Europe – the new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change’ presented the four cornerstones of Espoo’s and the Helsinki region strategy towards climate neutrality, highlighting that ‘the cultural and learning pillar is key and must accompany the economic, environmental and social strands of the transition’. From the New Bauhaus to the setup of innovative public-private partnerships, ‘we must incentivize a change in the Entrepreneurial mindset’, stressed Markkula. The President of the Helsinki region emphasized that local and regional governments are directly affected by the 12 billion annual average loses caused by climate change and called on the Parties of the Paris Agreement to give further recognition to cities and regions in the COP26 conclusions. Asked about the CoR opinion on climate adaptation, Markkula stressed that ‘only 25% of the needed technology to win the battle against climate change currently exists’, advocating for ‘new local and regional contracts with private companies, industry and research centers to motivate collective collaboration at the practical, operational level’ and referred to the new ‘EU Mission on Adaptation to Climate Change’ as a ‘key enable to deliver collective climate adaptation actions.‘
Also on 2 November, Peter Kurz (DE/PES), Lord Mayor of Mannheim and member of the German Delegation at the European Committee of the Regions presented ‘Local Green Deal – Achieving Climate Neutrality by 2030 with Mannheim’s Innovative Governance Approach’. The session was the occasion to discover Mannheim’s innovative Local Green Deal and how the model could be applied in other cities around Europe and the world. The event took place in the Multilevel Action Pavilion in the Blue Zone. To follow online the events of the Multilevel Action Pavilion, please register here.