At COP22 towns & regions called for a better access to targeted funding
1 December 2016
PLATFORMA and its partners were present at COP22 in Marrakesh, and particularly at the Climate Summit for Local and Regional Leaders, on 14 November. Participants to COP22 had the mandate to decide on the action agenda to implement the Paris Agreement which entered into force on 4 November.
Within the theme “Financing the sustainable transition of territories”, the Climate Summit for Local and Regional Leaders, gathered hundreds of mayors worldwide to discuss the different ways to enhance the channelling of financial flows toward towns and regions, and facilitate local action for climate.
PLATFORMA was represented by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) spokesperson Linda Gillham, councillor of Runnymede. “The rules and conditions to access the available funds to face climate change lack clarity. COP negotiators must facilitate towns and cities’ access to these funds, to translate the Paris Conference’s promises into actions,” she said.
“But without easier access to the different available funds, such as the European Structural & Investment Funds, the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility, we will not be able to mitigate the catastrophic impact of climate change on the ground,” she also stressed.
Speaking in the opening plenary on behalf of the Global Taskforce (GTF), UCLG President, Parks Tau, signaled the historic moment we are living as. “Never before was the consciousness of the impact of climate change so clear, never was the political will worldwide so broad and also never before have we been so united,” he said.
He recalled that UCLG has always advocated for ensuring coherence and building on the interlinkages between all the on-going international agendas. “We have always claimed that the climate agenda was not to be understood if not linked with the development agenda,” he added.
These message was also disseminated via a roadmap adopted at the occasion of the Summit for local leaders. The document shows that “towns and regions lack the necessary financial means given the responsibilities that they have been entrusted with as a result of the decentralisation process.”
How to scale up climate decentralised cooperation?
The different possibilities to scale up climate decentralised cooperation (territorial, political, institutional, multi-stakeholder and financial upscaling) were also analysed at a side event organised by PLATFORMA on the 15th of November. Marie-Pierre Bresson, Deputy-Mayor of Lille (France), Ndiouga Sakho, President of the Sustainable development committee at the city of Dakar (Senegal) and Juan Espadas, Mayor of Sevilla (Spain) shared best practices. They stressed that the EU should intensify its support to cooperation and exchange of good practices among networks of cities and regions. On top of benefitting all stakeholders from a climate perspective, it also helps create solid bonds between citizens and local leaders around the world.
One of the main initiatives, discussed and approved during the last meeting of the national associations of CEMR is the Europeanisation of the “1% solidarity” mechanism. A mechanism to allocate up to 1% of the tax revenues of a dedicated sector (water, waste or electricity) to finance a decentralised cooperation project with a partner in the same sector. This mechanism can be particularly critical to leverage additional public or private funds for international cooperation activities.