Call for greater involvement of cities and regions in EU adaptation policy

Committee of the Regions opinion drafted in cooperation with Climate Alliance unanimously adopted in Environment Commission

Frankfurt/Brussels, 5 December 2016. Last week signaled the first step in a possible breakthrough for both Climate Alliance and European adaptation policy. Last Thursday, the Commission for the Environment, Climate Change and Energy of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) adopted an “own-initiative opinion” drafted in collaboration with Climate Alliance on the review of the 2013 EU adaptation strategy.

The CoR, the EU institution representing regional and local authorities, is currently developing an opinion to guide the European Commission’s review of the EU Adaptation Strategy, due to begin next year. Climate Alliance is directly involved in this process as the chosen advisor of Sirpa Hertell, a member of the city council of the Finnish city Espoo who is in charge of drafting the opinion.

Members of Climate Alliance’s Working Group on Adaptation were able to directly discuss the opinion with Ms. Hertell during their last meeting in October in Krems (Austria). Their concrete feedback shaped the opinion, for example by adding an increased focus on awareness -raising for adaptation measures.

The collaboration with Ms. Hertell has resulted in a strengthened position for Europe’s cities and regions in their appeals to the European institutions and national governments. These include calls to encourage collaboration between levels of government on adaptation, to increase investment in capacity building, to close knowledge and information gaps at the local level and to support cities’ and regions’ access to public and private financing in funding adaptation.

Climate Alliance will continue its active involvement in the review process of the EU adaptation strategy and keep informing and engaging its members, especially in collaboration with its Working Group on Adaptation.

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Photo: Sirpa Hertell, City councillor of Espoo | © European Union / Nuno Rodrigues