At its General Assembly in Helsinki in October, the CPMR and its member regions presented a series of bold proposals to make the EU’s Adaptation Strategy and Clean Energy Package stronger and more ambitious.
The proposals say that regions, in partnership with all levels of EU governance, have an essential part to play in addressing adaptation to climate change, and ensuring that the EU surprasses the energy saving targets set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Peripheral and maritime regions, their sea basins, coastal areas and islands, are the first to experience the effects of climate change, including rising sea levels, flooding and coastal erosion. This can affect key industries including, fisheries, agriculture and tourism.
As a result, regions have a better understanding of the needs of their territories because they work closely with citizens. Many regional governments already play a pivotal role in co-ordinating and driving forward climate action, providing a focal point for local-led actions.
Therefore, the CPMR says regions must be given a central role in an integrated approach to climate action, aimed at helping Europe’s communities to adjust to the new realities of global warming, to prepare for further short to medium-term changes and to make Europe a more sustainable and climate-friendly place.
Regarding the EU’s Adaptation Strategy, the CPMR’s proposals, will provide the basis for its response to the Commission’s online consultation on the review of the EU Adaptation Strategy, which was launched on 07 December.
The CPMR is calling for EU-level action to drive forward and support adaptation policies and initiatives across the EU. It also stresses the importance of EU funding and co-operation between regions, and the need to strengthen data and knowledge sharing.
In terms of the EU’s Clean Energy Package, negotiations at EU-level on this policy are underway. The CPMR calls for regions to be formally recognised in the governance structures of the Clean Energy Package and the Energy Union, through the creation of multi-level dialogue platforms.
It also calls for more ambitious and binding energy savings targets, and underlines the need for policy tools at EU, national and regional level to support the policy’s implementation, including support for structured cooperation between regions.
The work of the CPMR’s Climate Task Force will continue in 2018 with two meetings planned for the year. The first, on 1 February, will address:
(i) financing of climate action in the EU budget, with the aim of feeding in a number of key messages into the CPMR’s overall position on the future of the Multi-annual Financial Framework, which will be adopted at the Political Bureau in March;
(ii) an information session on COP23 preparations, following the recent meetings in Bonn.
The second meeting is provisionally scheduled for 23 May, ahead of the International Conference in Brussels on Maritime Spatial Planning (24-25 May), and will address the theme of Climate Action and spatial planning.