Press release

Local Alliance urges EU to stay the course on Green Deal implementation

15 April 2024

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 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 Deal’s 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 the 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. 

 “Cities and regions have proven their commitment to work with decision makers at EU and national level to ensure a climate neutral future for Europe. However, if the European Green Deal is truly to become a reality, the EU must empower local and regional governments with the funding, policies and cooperation mechanisms they need to ensure a just, resilient future for everyone,” says André Sobzcak, Secretary General of Eurocities. 

“To make sure our voice is heard by the EU institutions, we have created the Local Alliance with other organisations that share our values. The EU must listen to our call for a strategic alliance to deliver a sustainable future.”

In the letter sent to EU leaders, the Local Alliance highlights that Europe’s pace of success to achieve 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 between cities, regions the EU and national governments, which 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, Commission and Parliament to turn the European Green Deal into reality for every citizen across Europe. 


Notes to editors:

    1. The members of the Local Alliance are: Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource management (ACR+); The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)Climate AllianceEnergy Cities; Eurocities; FEDARENEICLEI – Local Governments for SustainabilityPOLIS.  
    2. Quotes from all the members of the Local Alliance can be found here.         
    3. Read the joint letter sent by the Local Alliance leaders to the European Commission.                                  
    4. Eurocities wants to make cities places where everyone can enjoy a good quality of life, is able to move around safely, access quality and inclusive public services and benefit from a healthy environment. We do this by networking more than 200 larger European cities, which together represent some 150 million people across 38 countries, and by gathering evidence of how policy making impacts on people to inspire other cities and EU decision makers.
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Media contact:

For media enquiries, contact Andrew Kennedy, Eurocities Communications Advisor // 0032 470 65 01 73.