Local Alliance urges EU to prioritise Green Deal implementation at city and regional levels

Eight prominent networks of European cities and regions, including ACR+, CEMR, Climate Alliance, Energy Cities, Eurocities, FEDARENE, ICLEI Europe, and POLIS, have joined forces to establish the Local Alliance. In a united effort, they are urging EU leaders to uphold their commitment to the European Green Deal and ensure its effective implementation at the local level.

In a joint letter addressed to EU leaders, the Local Alliance emphasises the critical importance of maintaining momentum on the European Green Deal, particularly in light of recent challenges faced in its execution. Issues such as delays in the passage of key legislation, like the Nature Restoration Law, and setbacks in initiatives such as the phase-out of internal combustion engines, threaten to derail the EU's climate objectives. As European elections approach, the Alliance stresses the need for the EU to retain its role as a global leader in climate action.

The heart of the Alliance's message lies in the recognition that cities and regions are where the bulk of the European Green Deal will be put into practice. With at least 70% of the legislation slated for implementation at the local level, these communities are crucial drivers of the transition to climate neutrality. Already, European subnational governments are leading the charge, mobilizing significant resources and spearheading innovative initiatives to transform urban landscapes and lifestyles.

Where do we need the EU

To ensure the success of this endeavour, the Local Alliance outlines several key areas where support from the EU is paramount. First and foremost is the need for more cohesive and responsive funding mechanisms that align with locally developed action plans. The Alliance stresses the importance of partnership between all levels of government in mobilising budgets and resources for the transition.

Moreover, cities and regions require adequate support in building the necessary skills and workforce to drive sustainable change. By investing in local capacity-building efforts, the EU can not only empower communities but also stimulate demand for green technologies and services, fostering economic growth and job creation.

Integral to the Alliance's vision is the establishment of structured dialogues between local, regional, and national authorities and EU institutions. By facilitating meaningful collaboration and cooperation, these dialogues can ensure a smooth and effective transition to climate neutrality while enhancing societal resilience across Europe.

The Local Alliance reaffirms its commitment to working closely with national governments, the European Council, the Commission, and Parliament to translate the European Green Deal into tangible benefits for every European citizen. By harnessing the collective expertise and dedication of cities and regions, the Alliance aims to forge a path towards a sustainable, fair, and prosperous future for all.

Local involvement, Local Alliance

In a statement underscoring the significance of local involvement, Françoise Bonnet, Secretary General of ACR+, remarked, 'To reach climate neutrality by 2050, we need to rethink how we use our resources to stay within the planet's boundaries. Fully integrating cities and regions in the decision-making process is crucial since everything happens locally.'

Fabrizio Rossi, Secretary General of CEMR, emphasised the importance of local voices, stating, 'Through this Local Alliance, we call on the EU institutions to listen to cities and regions that are already localizing the Green Deal objectives by implementing 70% of the EU legislation.'

Thomas Brose, Executive Director of Climate Alliance, highlighted the collaborative effort required for success, stating, 'Achieving the objectives of the European Green Deal thus demands a concerted and collaborative effort from both national governments and the European Commission, as well as local businesses and civil society.'

As said by our Secretary General Karen Vancluysen, 'Our member cities and regions are working hard to accelerate the shift to sustainable mobility. It is not an easy task, neither technically nor politically. But a growing number of local political and professional leaders are stepping forward in the right direction, they’re making things happen. They must be supported.'

These sentiments echoed by leaders from each member organisation underscore the collective determination of the Local Alliance to drive meaningful change at the grassroots level and propel Europe towards a sustainable future.

Read the Letter