Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Local Alliance - 15.04.2024

Local Alliance: City and regional networks urge EU to stay the course on Green Deal implementation
Eight leading networks of European cities and regions - ACR+, CEMR, Climate Alliance, Energy Cities, Eurocities, FEDARENE, ICLEI Europe and POLIS - have come together to form the Local Alliance.  
In a joint letter, the Alliance calls on EU leaders to find new ways to effectively roll out the European Green Deal at the local level. The EU must “stay the course on the European Green Deal under this and the next mandate of the European Commission, the networks have stated. 
Recent challenges, such as the passage of the Nature Restoration Law, which still languishes with the European Council, or the last-minute setbacks suffered by the internal combustion engine phase out, are undermining the Green’s Deal objectives. As the European elections approach, the EU must ensure it remains a global beacon for climate leadership.  
Given the more complicated arena for climate legislation that lies ahead, local leaders are adamant that the EU’s commitment to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 should remain a top priority, delivering a just transition that works for people and planet. 
Cities and regions are where at least 70% of the European Green Deal legislation must be implemented. European local and regional governments have already embarked on the journey to climate neutrality and started to transform European cities and regions, as well as ways of living, heating and cooling, housing, mobility, producing and consuming for millions of citizens. Today, the EU’s subnational governments mobilise around 58% of climate-significant public expenditures, surpassing their central governments. 
“Through this Local Alliance, we call on the EU institutions to listen to cities and regions that are already localising the Green Deal objectives by implementing 70% of the EU legislation. Putting the experience of local governments at the centre means prioritizing effective transition policies that will ensure fairness and acceptance of the Green Deal for all European citizens” - Fabrizio Rossi, Secretary General, CEMR. 
In the letter sent to EU leaders, the Local Alliance highlights that Europe’s pace of success in achieving the Green Deal objectives will depend on the following help for cities and regions:  
  • More joined up support for investments from the EU, national and regional funds across different funding programmes and actors, which are more responsive to locally developed integrated and holistic action and investment plans. This would also be a prerequisite for creating local jobs and markets for the European green industry.   
Local leaders highlight that partnership between all levels of government is key as “Financing the local transition to climate neutrality will require mobilising the EU and national budgets.” 
  • Cities and regions need adequate in-house skills and a workforce to successfully do their part of the climate neutrality transition and by doing so, to create demand for European businesses and industries.   
“These opportunities are the best way to create local investment potential for European industry, and to share the transition benefits for all EU citizens,” say the Local Alliance leaders.
  • Establishing structured dialogues with the local and regional levels at the EU and national level will be critical to achieving the necessary transformation and societal resilience at scale in Europe.  
It is only with cities, regional and local governments on board – the closest level of government to people and the one responsible for implementing most of the European Green Deal legislation - that we can fully meet the objective of a climate neutral Europe by 2050. 
The Local Alliance further repeats its commitment to work with national governments, the European Council, the Commission, and the Parliament to turn the European Green Deal into reality for every citizen across Europe. 
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