EU Committee of the Regions adopts Climate Alliance adaptation messages

Last Thursday, the Committee of the Regions (CoR) plenary unanimously adopted an opinion on the EU Adaptation strategy supporting numerous Climate Alliance positions. Espoo City Councillor and special rapporteur Sipa Hertell drafted the opinion in close cooperation with Climate Alliance and its Working Group on Adaptation. The opinion, having previously been adopted by the CoR’s Environment Committee in December 2016, will feed into the European Commission’s review of the EU Adaptation Strategy due during the course of 2018.

Entitled “Towards a new EU climate change adaptation strategy”, the opinion calls for stronger collaboration on adaptation strategies between various levels of government. It points to the need for further capacity building for the local and regional levels, for example in terms of risk modelling tools, and for the embedding of adaptation actions into international climate treaties such as the Paris Agreement.

The opinion also reflects one of Climate Alliance’s focus topics: climate finance for municipalities. The document highlights the difficulties local and regional authorities have in accessing existing European funds such as Horizon2020, Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), and LIFE. Hertell emphasises, “We have to consider revising pre-conditions to fast-track access to funds for committed local and regional authorities with existing risk and vulnerability assessments or climate adaption action plans".

Climate Alliance’s intensive work on the opinion has served as a starting point for closer cooperation between the Alliance and the CoR, the EU institution representing regional and local authorities. Collaboration on this dossier, in addition to Climate Alliance’s key role in the EU Covenant of Mayors, has also further strengthened ties between Climate Alliance and the European Commission.

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