This week is the EU Green Week which takes place ahead of the World Environment Day on Saturday, 5 June. How are liberals on the local and regional level contributing for a healthier planet and people? Here are five examples:
“Towards a Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil” forms a critical part of the European Green Deal. In their own way, many of our local and regional liberal representatives are putting this into practice – here are five examples:
- Vincent Chauvet is now looking at the feasibility of reaching the 2030 CO2 reduction targets for local and regional authorities, trying to identify measures to step up climate ambitions. At the same time he’s also preparing the contribution of European cities and regions to the upcoming United Nations Climate Chance Conference (COP26).
- Three of our liberals are National Ambassadors of the Covenant of Mayors: Andres Jaadla (Estonia), Robert Van Asten (Netherlands) and Gunars Ansins (Latvia). The primary goal of these National Ambassadors is to reinforce the initiative of the Covenant of Mayors in every Member State. This covenant is the world’s largest movement for local climate and energy actions. The ambassadors will take part in country-specific activities and reinforce links and cooperation with Members of the European Parliament and National Governments.
- To influence the thinking of other European institutions and to ensure that concrete ideas are taken up from the local level, a Green Deal Going Local Working Group was launched within the European Committee of the Regions with our members Vincent Chauvet (FR/Modem) and Mirja Vehkaperä (FI/Keskusta) as full members and Manuel Alejandro Cardenete (ES/Ciudadanos) and Jeannette Baljeu (NL/VVD) as our alternates. This group will ensure that cities and regions can bring the European Green Deal off the ground with concrete projects and direct funding to local and regional authorities. Both the European Green Deal and the EU’s recovery strategy should translate into tangible projects and direct funding for local and regional authorities.
- Mirja Vehkaperä also recently contributed to the CoR’s multilevel climate and energy dialogue, arguing that: “We must fully integrate the digital transformation of our buildings if we are to maximise the potential for energy savings. We must ensure the circularity of the construction sector, and incentivise the use of sustainable materials such as wood and eco-concrete, which benefit healthy indoor air. We encourage the system of electronic renovation cards of the city of Oulu as a method to directly involve citizens and to accelerate the renovation of buildings in local communities.”
- Each city, each municipality,… can itself give a good example by reducing the impact on climate and nature. Several initiatives are currently successfully implemented, such as for instance in the city of Liepaja, Latvia, with Deputy Mayor Gunars Ansins, by arranging the heat supply, improving public transportation and more as shown in this video.