Regional and local involvement for green transition
Despite a clear environmental commitment at international and EU level, with the Paris agreement and the recent EU 2050 carbon-neutral strategy, the concrete implementation of these top-down objectives is sometimes difficult to grasp, leading to citizens' demonstrations demanding that governments act on their promises.
During this event, moderated by an expert in citizen participation from the European Commission, the participating regions and cities presented their on-going efforts to foster the involvement of local stakeholders in the green transition and in the fight against climate change.
The presented projects all dealt with citizens' dialogue and involvement at various levels, from the local/city level to the national level and including the intercity level:
- Attractive Towns is a project developed in Norway which fosters increased participation and cooperation with citizens for attractive and sustainable urban development. The partners' towns use a common methodology to complete projects aimed at fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals.
- The city of Elbag as a "green city" (Warmia-Mazury) aims to implement the principles of sustainable urban development. They emphasise innovation and development of new technologies.
- The local "COP21" developed by Métropole Rouen Normandie (Normandy), which aimed to replicate the multistakeholder approach that led to the Paris agreement.
- Klimathon, organised in western Norway for two years, is a "hackathon", designed to bring together civil society, businesses, researchers and local authorities to find solutions to specific, local climate challenges for a greener society.
- The regional COP implemented in Centre-Val de Loire aims at co-creating an agreement tackling climate change and promoting energy and environmental transition with all regional stakeholders, including civil society, in a similar fashion to the local "COP21" developed in Métropole Rouen Normandie, but on a regional scale.
Presentations were followed by a panel discussion in which each speaker explained how their project addressed a barrier to citizen involvement in the green transistion that was identified by the audience.
The panel discussion led to further questions from the audience, notably on the socioeconomic factors affecting the involvement of citizens in the green transition.
Take away message
Democracy and citizen participation are at the heart of a successful green transition.