LG associations appeal to national and EU governments for a strong global agreement in Mexico
In preparation for COP16 taking place from 29 November to 10 December 2010 in Cancún, Mexico, EU leaders followed the invitation of the European Council on 28-29 October to streamline amongst other issues the European position in the upcoming UN climate negotiations. In its conclusions, the European Council accentuates the urgency for the Cancún Conference to deliver “a significant intermediate step, building on the Kyoto Protocol and paving the way towards a global and comprehensive legally binding framework, integrating the political guidance given in the Copenhagen Accord.” Moreover the European Council confirms that the EU will reassess the options to move beyond 20% greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions only after COP16. However, in parallel the EU will also develop a more diversified approach “to engaging with key partners in areas of mutual interest that help them reduce their emissions.” In this perspective, the EU encourages in particular regional initiatives to tackle climate change and promote green growth.
EU Environment Ministers go home to reexamine
On 14 October 2010, in Brussels, Belgium, the Council of the EU Environment Ministers agreed on a negotiating strategy for the Cancún Climate Change Conference. Member States like France, Germany and the UK noted the limited progress made at the Bonn and Tianjin negotiation sessions towards putting a balanced package on the table, and called for an increased EU target of 30% emissions reduction in order to meet the 2°Celsius objective. This is in line with the European Commission communication in May 2010 which argues that an increase to 30% would – due to the economic crisis – be both technically feasible and affordable. Foreseen costs for achieving the current 20% target have dropped significantly, from ? 70 billion (bn) to ?48bn per year until 2020. Nevertheless, EU Environment Ministers were not able to agree to a scale-up, but decided to examine costs, benefits and financial implications on a national level before coming to a decision.
11 French LG associations appeal to national and EU governments for a strong global agreement in Cancún
Already at the COP15 in Copenhagen numerous LG associations and their members were present, stating their engagement and offering partnership towards the national and European levels to reach a strong, comprehensive and global post 2012 climate agreement. On 10 November 2010 in Paris, eleven LG associations in France renewed their appeal (see attached). In a declaration they voiced the need for maintaining the references concerning the local and sub-national level in the negotiation texts and to integrate them, where they do not appear. Furthermore they asked to open international discussions about finance mechanisms to the regional and local level, especially relevant for developing countries. In regards to Europe, associations requested consideration of using part of new revenues generated through the European Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) from 2013 onwards to enable stronger territorial actions on energy and climate. The declaration concludes that a global climate agreement must recognise the role of local and regional governments and assure local readiness to take up the challenge of climate change.
LG Action welcomes two new associates
The LG Action consortium welcomes the Local Government Association of Malta, as well as the Climate Group of Tatabánya from Hungary to the list of committed associates of the project. Both LG associations are actively using project material such as the LG Action Guide to support their members, collect positioning input and pooling expertise for the national LG Action Country Profiles due for release in 2011.
Further LG associations in Europe are welcome to join the unique, short-term project LG Action – help us to reflect the perspectives, and encourage the involvement of local governments in the European and international energy and climate debate.