Governance models for climate neutrality
Local and regional leaders shared their experience of participatory models of governance to combat climate change. For Rafal Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw and CoR EU Climate Pact rapporteur, the key is to strengthen cooperation between cities and the EU, and make EU funds available to cities. Turku halved its carbon emissions and grew its economy, involving people, creating energy-positive student housing, and offering citizens a carbon footprint calculator. The Belgian city of Leuven set up an organisation, Leuven 2030, controlled equally by stakeholder groups, to shape its climate and energy action. Charles Fournier, VP of Region Centre Val de Loire shared how setting up a regional COP created engagement with more than 44 000 citizen challenges mobilised and 250 commitments undertaken by companies and citizens. Our session also hosted the experiences of the Cape Clear Island in Ireland and the Centre Val de Loire Youth Council, represented by Máirtín Ó Méalóid and Stécy Dyvrande.
Take away message
The challenge of our times is to find ways to reach climate neutrality as fast as possible to ensure a liveable planet. Doing so needs us to work together, and share different ideas about how to do it, across all levels of governance and with the active involvement of different sectors of society. Covenant of Mayors cities and regions are experimenting with the help of their citizens and businesses, developing local climate pacts, and driving the transition forward.
"The Climate Pact should be an enabler of closer cooperation between local and regional authorities and European institutions in order to develop ideas and channel them into the EU decision-making process (..). It should act as an umbrella for existing and future initiatives."- Trzaskowski Rafal Kazimierz.
"The present silo-based form of governance, designed and developed for traditional city operations and services cannot drive an ambitious climate transition. (...) We need to co-create our policies with the relevant stakeholders and get citizens on board in their different roles." Anna Lisa Boni