News

Herman Van Rompuy Lectures: exploring local options to fight climate change

Ivo BELET
21.11.2017 - 10:20
glass globe in hand

At the annual Herman Van Rompuy Lecture, held this year on 21 November at ‘Het BEL’, a new green building at the Tour & Taxis site in Brussels, keynote speaker Christiana Figueres, Vice-President of the Covenant of Mayors, will address the role local actors can play in implementing the Paris Agreement and how they can help achieve climate goals. As former head of the UNFCCC, Figueres played a pivotal role in the negotiations leading up to the Paris Agreement and has a unique insight into climate action at various levels.

The world’s biggest urban climate and energy initiative

Since the conclusion of the Paris Climate Agreement, the fight against climate change has been more significant than ever. Governments all over the world pledged to step up their contributions and the EU has been at the forefront of the fight, most prominently with its ambitious overhaul of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).

So far, 6733 towns and cities in Europe have signed up to the Covenant of Mayors. Each detailing their own commitments to reduce carbon emissions in their area.

In addition, local branches of government have stepped up to the plate as well, united by a wish to decarbonise their territories and to grant their citizens access to secure, sustainable and affordable energy. The most prominent of these initiatives is the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy. Heralded by Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete as the “world’s biggest urban climate and energy initiative”, the Covenant of Mayors brings together thousands of local and regional authorities voluntarily committed to implementing EU climate and energy objectives on their territory.

The fight against climate change will be won or lost in urban areas

The fight against climate change will be won or lost in urban areas. A vast majority of the European population lives and works in cities – worldwide, cities consume 75% of global primary energy and account for approximately 80% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Local administrations, as the closest government level to citizens, are ideally placed to address climate issues in a comprehensive manner.

Local administrations, as the closest government level to citizens, are ideally placed to address climate issues in a comprehensive manner

Today, more and more cities are prepared to rise up to the challenge. So far, 6733 towns and cities in Europe have signed up to the Covenant of Mayors. Each detailing their own commitments to reduce carbon emissions in their area.

Signatory cities have committed to developing Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans with the aims of cutting CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030 and increasing resilience to climate change within the first two years of adhesion

All these commitments are linked to the European Union’s climate and energy policy framework. These include the European Union’s climate and energy package for 2020 for signatories who joined between 2008 and 2015 and the European Union’s 2030 climate and energy framework and EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change for signatories joining after 2015. As of October 2015, signatories have also committed to developing Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans with the aims of cutting CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030 and increasing resilience to climate change within the first two years of adhesion. 

More information on this year’s Herman Van Rompuy lecture can be found at www.hvr-lezing.eu

Latest

EIN Riga
22.05.2018 - 09:24

Lech Wałęsa to receive merit award from EIN in Riga

The annual gathering of the European Ideas Network (EIN) will take place in Riga, Latvia, from 23 to 25 May with European politicians, academics,...
Nicole Fontaine EP President at a plenary session in Strasbourg on July 1999
18.05.2018 - 21:19

Passing of Nicole Fontaine: a militant of the European ideal

“It is with deep sadness that I learned of the passing of Nicole Fontaine, former President of the European Parliament. After Simone Veil, the...
traffic on german autobahn,european cars and trucks
17.05.2018 - 13:22

EPP Group in favour of capping CO2 emissions for trucks

EPP Group backs Commission’s proposal to cut CO2 emissions for trucks, but urges that we remain realistic The EPP Group in the European...
Environment Committee backs stronger EU disaster relief
17.05.2018 - 12:00

Environment Committee backs stronger EU disaster relief

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee has approved draft legislation to step up EU disaster relief. Authored by the EPP Group’s...

Highlights of the week

22.05.2018 - 25.05.2018
Riga, Latvia

Discussing the European way of life in Riga

European politicians, academics, policy-makers and opinion-shapers will gather in Riga, Latvia, from 23-25 May at the annual conference of the...
Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg to meet EP leaders

An extraordinary meeting with the Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, will take place on Tuesday in the European Parliament. The...
High angle view of traffic on highway

Road charges: fair charging for better roads

The Transport and Tourism Committee will vote on Thursday morning on the phasing-out of the Eurovignette for heavy duty vehicles and vans....