Photo: Jasmin Sessler via Unsplash

Press release | 15.04.2024

Local Alliance: City and regional networks urge EU to stay the course on Green Deal implementation

Eight leading networks of European cities and regions – ACR+, CEMR, Climate Alliance, Energy Cities, Eurocities, FEDARENE, ICLEI Europe and POLIShave come together to form the Local Alliance. In a joint letter, the Alliance calls on EU leaders to find new ways to effectively roll out the European Green Deal at local level. The EU must “stay the course on the European Green Deal under this and the next mandate of the European Commission, the networks have stated.

Recent challenges, such as the passage of the Nature Restoration Law, which still languishes with the European Council, or the last-minute setbacks suffered by the internal combustion engine phase out, are undermining the Green’s Deal objectives. As the European elections approach, the EU must ensure it remains a global beacon for climate leadership.  Given the more complicated arena for climate legislation that lies ahead, local leaders are adamant that the EU’s commitment to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 should remain a top priority, delivering a just transition that works for people and planet.

Cities and regions are where at least 70% of the European Green Deal legislation must be implemented. European local and regional governments have already embarked on the journey to climate neutrality and started to transform European cities and regions, as well as ways of living, heating and cooling, housing, mobility, producing and consuming for millions of citizens. Today, the EU’s subnational governments mobilise around 58% of climate-significant public expenditures, surpassing their central governments.

"Europe’s cities and regions are where the pace of the climate and energy transition will be decided across all economic sectors. 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. This collaborative ethos is essential to empower all stakeholders in addressing the multifaceted challenges of reducing our emissions, preventing biodiversity loss, addressing societal challenges, and securing the financing to do so," says Thomas Brose, Executive Director of Climate Alliance.

In the letter sent to EU leaders, the Local Alliance highlights that Europe’s pace of success to achieve the Green Deal objectives will depend on the following help for cities and regions:

  • More joined up support for investments from the EU, national and regional funds across different funding programmes and actors, which are more responsive to locally developed integrated and holistic action and investment plans. This would also be a prerequisite for creating local jobs and markets for the European green industry. Local leaders highlight that partnership between all levels of government is key as “Financing the local transition to climate neutrality will require mobilising the EU and national budgets.” 
  • Cities and regions need adequate in-house skills and a workforce to successfully do their part of the climate neutrality transition and by doing so, to create demand for European businesses and industries. “These opportunities are the best way to create local investment potential for European industry, and to share the transition benefits for all EU citizens,” say the Local Alliance leaders. 
  • Establishing structured dialogues with the local and regional level at the EU and national level will be critical to achieving the necessary transformation and societal resilience at scale in Europe.  It is only with cities, regional and local governments on board – the closest level of government to people and the one responsible for implementing most of the European Green Deal legislation – that we can fully meet the objective of a climate neutral Europe by 2050. 

The Local Alliance further repeats its commitment to work with national governments, the European Council, Commission and Parliament to turn the European Green Deal into reality for every citizen across Europe. 

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Helena Daum
Communications Manager, Climate Alliance
+49 69 7171 39 -38 | communications(at)