A new alliance of more than 30 European mayors, aligned on the imperative to implement the European Green Deal at city level, say now is the time for Europe to stand firm on its climate commitments.
“As mayors and city leaders we play a double role in implementing this transition. We are the ambassadors for the European Green Deal locally and we represent peoples’ concerns, needs and interests to all levels of government. Achieving climate neutrality and sustainable development is in the interests of everyone, all these different levels, and we, as mayors, can be a focal point as the institutions closest to citizens,” said Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence.
The recently leaked draft report by the International Panel on Climate Change has put in no uncertain terms the planetary threat of exceeding the global warming tipping point. The Mayors Alliance for the European Green Deal points out that the upcoming EU FitFor55 package, which will revise the current EU climate and energy legislation to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, must put Europe firmly on a trajectory to climate neutrality by 2050.
The mayors demand action in five key areas:
- Ensure an EU-wide phase-out of fossil fuelled vehicles by 2035; align CO2 vehicle emissions targets with the EU’s 2050 objective of carbon neutrality; and raise the deployment of alternative fuels and charging infrastructure for vehicles in line with city needs
- Create the right conditions to enable near zero emission buildings by 2030 for new construction, and ensure that for old buildings the renovation rate increases to at least 3% per year combined with an average energy demand reduction of 75%
- Support vulnerable groups and energy poor households with direct subsidies and alternative measures; and ensure the most vulnerable are insulated against adverse impacts to the cost of living
- Earmark future carbon pricing revenues to support climate action, biodiversity protection and a fair transition in all European cities
- Realign renewable energy targets with the new 2030 emissions reduction target and empower cities and local communities to produce and consume locally, together with improved energy infrastructure.
The mayors further point out that cities are taking strong action to reduce energy consumption and air pollution, promote sustainable urban mobility and green jobs, and boost the digital transformation and the circular economy.
“Our ability, as city leaders, to implement ambitious policies to make the European Green Deal a reality for all citizens can be a real game changer for Europe. At the same time our job can be made a lot easier when we can work with national governments that are willing to step up their climate ambition,” added Nardella.
With 37% of the available €673bn in the EU’s recovery plan targeted towards green investments, many mayors have further highlighted the fact that cities were not involved in the design of the national recovery plans. In order to ensure the recovery is green and just, greater cooperation between national and local governments is needed. By ensuring cities have a meaningful role to play in this critical time, and by utilising their knowledge and expertise, EU climate policy will be made more sustainable, inclusive and resilient.
The Mayors Alliance for the European Green Deal is an initiative of the cities network, Eurocities.
Notes to the editor:
- The Mayors Alliance for the European Green Deal is represented by the Mayors of: Athens, Barcelona, Braga, Bratislava, Brno, Budapest, Bonn, Burgas, Cesena, Cluj Napoca, Dortmund, Dublin, Duesseldorf, Florence, Ghent, Glasgow, Hannover, Lahti, Leipzig, Ljubljana, Logrono, Madrid, Muenster, Nantes, Oulu, Porto, Prague, Riga, Reykjavik, Rotterdam, Stockholm, Tallinn, Terrassa, Toulouse, Turku, Vienna, Warsaw
- You can view the manifesto for the Mayors Alliance here: https://bit.ly/3Aful3X
- The Mayors Alliance is an initiative of Eurocities, which aims 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 over 200 larger European cities, which together represent some 130 million people across 38 countries, and by gathering evidence of how policy making impacts on people to inspire other cities and EU decision makers. Connect with us at https://eurocities.eu/ or by following our Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts and via #MayorsAlliance
Alex Godson: +32 495 298 594 // firstname.lastname@example.org