Mayors of the ICLEI European Regional Executive Committee
(RexCom) gathered in Brussels (Belgium) to discuss and renew their shared commitment to achieving climate neutrality and advancing the implementation of the European Green Deal at the local level. As part of their RexCom mandate, mayors and other representatives from Aalborg
(Germany), the Green Metropolitan Region of Arnhem-Nijmegen
(the Netherlands), Matosinhos
(The Netherlands), Utrecht
(The Netherlands), Tirana
(Spain), and Wrocław
(Poland), are calling for deeper exchange between local governments and the national and European levels to drive sustainability legislation and regulation, as well as more innovative structural approaches to financing.
In addition to advancing the development of Local Green Deals
and securing net-zero emissions, each RexCom member will represent ICLEI Europe on one or more of twelve topical portfolios – namely: Climate Neutral Cities, Governance Innovation, Sustainable and Innovation Procurement, Circular Economy, Built Environment, Culture and Heritage, Justice, Equity and Democracy, Biodiversity and Nature-Based Solutions, Resilience and Climate Adaptation, Sustainable Energy Systems, Green Digital Transformation, Sustainable Mobility, and Sustainable Food Systems.
During their recent meeting, the ICLEI European REXCom also underlined the importance of establishing a sustainable, multi-level governance approach
to ensure the European Union (EU) achieves climate neutrality by 2050. The ICLEI European Secretariat is advancing this mandate through its leading roles in localising the EU Green Deal, in the Urban7 (cities’ response to the G7), and in supporting the Climate Neutral Cities Mission. ICLEI also supports the Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnerships (CHAMP) pledge
which sees signatory countries commit to enhancing cooperation with subnational governments, especially with respect to national plans to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
“Time and time again over the past year, we have seen a commitment from national and European leaders to work across governing levels to make decisions around climate planning, financing, implementation and monitoring hand-in-hand with the local governments that are on the frontline of the climate emergency. We are committed to seizing this momentum and to continuing to support the implementation of innovative governance structures that make full use of the expertise, ambition, and commitment of local governments to usher in a just and climate-neutral future,
” notes Wolfgang Teubner
, Regional Director for ICLEI Europe.
“This year is a big one for European cities. The Belgian Presidency’s conference on localising the Green Deal will be followed closely by decisive EU elections. Many cities, including Aalborg, are already well on their way to rolling out Local Green Deals that lay the foundation for a climate-neutral continent. This is why Aalborg and ICLEI are bringing local leaders together at the European Sustainable Cities & Towns Conference in October 2024: to make sure that all the good work catalysed by the European Green Deal will be taken forward in the next European term, and that its legislative packages get implemented across all governing levels,”
says Lasse Frimand Jensen
, Mayor, City of Aalborg (Denmark) and REXCom Member.
ICLEI members advocate for a strong EU urban policy and to localise EU Green Deal ahead of European elections
Translating the EU Green Deal into local action and fostering a strong European urban agenda for the next EU mandate are two key topics ICLEI and its RexCom members will be working on with their partners under the auspice of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU this year.
2024 is a key year for European cities: upcoming European and municipal elections are set to determine what will be prioritised in the coming years. Through its leading roles in localising the EU Green Deal, the Urban7, and the Climate Neutral Cities Mission, ICLEI Europe is focused on accelerating transformation from the ground up. As the European elections approach, ICLEI aims to express support for the ambitious continuation of the European Green Deal during the next EU mandate. For reaching these objectives, ICLEI is working closely with the Belgian EU Presidency of the Council, and other partners towards a coherent multilevel governance framework, as well as the necessary financial and technical support to local and regional governments.
On 24 January, ICLEI took part in the high-level event with European Mayors organised by the Brussels Capital Region resulting in the “Brussels Declaration of European Mayors - A European policy fit for the future
” calling upon all European institutions to adopt an ambitious European urban policy for the next mandate. In the document, signing cities and city networks call for a more binding dialogue between European institutions and cities, a paradigm shift towards a more sustainable model and the increased involvement in the development of European governance, regulation, programmes, and funding.
Another key milestone for ICLEI in working towards these objectives before the EU elections will be its involvement in the “Translating the EU Green Deal into local actions” conference on 15 March 2024
hosted by the Flemish Government. The event will bring together 550 Mayors and local government representatives in Brussels to send a powerful message via a final “Declaration
” to EU policy makers that the successful implementation of the European Green Deal can only be achieved by the empowerment of local and regional governments as key agents of change.
These, and other events planned in 2024, will culminate in the European Cities and Towns Conference
in Aalborg (Denmark), celebrating 30 years of the Aalborg Charter. The Conference will provide a moment for a collective local response to sustainability in Europe by ensuring the future of the EU Green Deal in a pivotal election year.