EU as a global leader: implementing the Green Deal beyond the EU with towns and regions
The European Commission released on 12 December 2019 its new roadmap for EU’s economy and society to become climate-neutral by 2050. But the European Green Deal is not only about the EU internally. As a global leader and the first provider of international aid, the EU should show the way beyond its borders. And local and regional governments who already implement and finance Green Deal policies on the ground are at the forefront.
To make the transition just and inclusive, and to improve the well-being and health of citizens and future generations, local and regional governments are already committing to ambitious targets at local level, thus contributing to the transition towards a carbon neutral society at the level closest to the citizens.
In a discussion paper on the Green Deal to be released soon by CEMR, PLATFORMA set out its draft messages and recommendations on the international dimension of the Green Deal and the role local and regional governments should play.
Ensuring policy coherence between external and internal policies
Local and regional governments’ participation in the Green Deal’s external action will be essential to both anchor EU policies locally within Europe and reach out to territories in partner countries.
The principle of policy coherence is also a powerful tool for local and regional governments to raise awareness about the interconnected links between local and global challenges, as well as to involve different sectors of the community.
Implementing the Green Deal through decentralised cooperation
The Commission’s communication presents the EU as a global leader which “will use its diplomatic and financial tools” to achieve the Green Deal. Through their decentralised cooperation, local and regional governments will be active players in the implementation of the Green Deal among their peers abroad, whether by establishing joint action plans, building up capacity or exchanging diagnoses and expertise.
Local and regional governments can also be the standard-bearers for green values by including ecological elements in their own projects with partner countries and also by improving the sustainability of their own value chain related to public purchases.
Getting local and regional governments on board
Twenty-five percent of the next EU external policy budget will have to be dedicated to climate and we hope to see local and regional governments clearly engaged by the EU in this process.
Transforming a community’s attitudes and behaviour through development education
Development education plays a crucial role in raising awareness among citizens in favour of global climate actions, both in Europe and partner countries. Such strategies aim at transforming a community’s attitudes and behaviour towards sustainability, solidarity, equality and democracy by concrete actions taken by and with citizens.