COP28: Europe’s cities demand EU 2040 reduction target of at least 90%

As the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) continues, the mayors of European cities have called on the EU to match their climate ambitions by committing to at least a 90% net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

“Despite increasing resistance to climate action, it is crucial that Europe maintains its global leadership by adopting an ambitious new target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 90% by 2040,” says André Sobczak, Secretary General of Eurocities. “This will ensure we can build a just, green and prosperous future for people in Europe and across the world.”

To achieve this crucial and urgent task, a new position paper, released today by Eurocities, states that:

  • The European Commission must strengthen direct collaboration with and support for cities.
  • Cities must receive targeted EU finance and funding, including a European Investment Bank programme for cities, increased resources for cities in the next EU budget, and EU mechanisms to connect cities with private funding.
  • The EU and member states must work with cities to implement the crucial Fit for 55 package, updating EU legislation and policy to support cities to implement sustainable transport, energy-efficient buildings, sustainable food systems and the widespread adoption of renewables.
  • A big share of emissions in cities remains unchecked, such as food production and consumption, and consumer goods and services. The EU must set targets to reduce these emissions and provide a method of calculating them, together with training for cities on how to measure them.
  • The EU must provide funding directly to cities to reduce carbon emissions and support the most disadvantaged people in society. Low income households should be supported to access green solutions, such as retrofitting houses or solar panels. The funding should also be used in education, skilling and reskilling the workforce into green jobs.
  • The EU must support cities to implement local climate adaptation strategies. Voluntary initiatives, such as the Covenant of Mayors, have been effective, but more EU technical assistance and funding is needed to implement local plans.

“Cities have set more ambitious climate targets than EU member states and are already making good progress towards achieving them, says Sobczak. “However, we do not have all the solutions and we require increased support from the EU and national governments to help us achieve our climate neutral goals.

“We are convinced that this is the time to speed up our efforts and that ambitious EU climate targets will help support the growth of prosperous, liveable cities.”

Notes to editors:

  1. Read Eurocities ‘Delivering the inclusive climate transition’ policy paper.
  2. 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.

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Andrew Kennedy Eurocities Writer
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