EU mayors deserve stronger support in their fight against climate change, say S&Ds

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Climate & Environment
Socialists and Democrats are strongly committed to deliver on the COP 21 UN Climate Change Agreement adopted in Paris in 2015, in which 195 nations set out a global action plan to limit global warming to well below 2°C. In order to fully comply with the agreement, local action is crucial, and this is why the S&Ds backed a report voted on this morning on the role of EU regions and cities in implementing the COP 21 Paris Agreement.
 
S&Ds welcome the call to act on urban planning, mobility, public transport and infrastructure, the energy performance of buildings, education campaigns, smart cities, smart grids and regional subsidies. However, they regret the lack of support from the conservative majority in the Parliament for mandatory targets for adaptation and mitigation. Having mandatory targets at national level would bring more leverage to thousands of mayors across Europe who are at the forefront in this fight, mainly through the successful EU Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy.
 
Constanze Krehl, S&D spokesperson on regional development, said:
 
“Climate change is the main issue for us, and ultimately for our future generations. Everyone is concerned and therefore, we are fighting for ambitious mandatory targets for member states. We do not just want to talk about global warming, we are working on clear actions. Unfortunately, we have to recognise that the right and conservative side of Europe is still not ready to introduce binding rules.
 
“European regions and cities play an important role when it comes to the implementation of the COP 21 Paris Agreement on climate change. Cities and regions will implement a majority of European legislation and they are capable of reducing global emissions by 5 % to meet the Paris Agreement targets. We support cohesion policy as an important tool on a European level to finance climate projects for a better quality of life for citizens.
 
"We need to ensure a better standard of life for all our citizens and deliver on the long-term goals of the Paris climate agreement. This is why we believe it should be a priority to help workers in carbon-intensive industries to transition to alternative employment.”
 
Isabelle Thomas, vice-president of the S&D said:
 
“We are in the lead when it comes to working on sustainable growth and green jobs for Europe. The COP 21 Paris climate agreement has to be implemented on national, regional and local level as ambitiously as possible. The adopted report demands energy efficient housing projects as well as ecological public transport systems.
 
“Given the fact that cities account for 70% of global CO2 emissions, we need to fight global warming at a local level, where politicians have gained experience and often delivered quick and effective results. For this reason, we strongly encourage a transfer of knowledge on a local and regional level to share best-practice experiences.”

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