EU Climate Law should safeguard local action and reform economic governance

Energy Cities proposes three reforms that will make the difference



Alix Bolle

Publication date

April 8, 2020

In these very uncertain times, it is now a broad consensus that Europe urgently needs new economic and social foundations based on local resilience, solidarity and empowerment. Unveiled last March, the EU Commission’s proposed Climate Law aims to enshrine the 2050 climate neutrality objective into European legislation. But climate neutrality itself will not be achieved solely through cross-border market integration or technological innovation. It will require innovative local processes allowing each territory to become more resilient and less dependent on energy imports or technology upgrades.

As representatives of European local authorities, Energy Cities believes the European Green Deal, and more particularly the Climate Law, should provide a springboard for mainstreaming these new sustainable trends and practices.

Three crucial reforms to improve the Climate Law

We see three important reforms to improve the climate law along the below principles and expressed in more details in our position paper.

1) Beyond words, principles of local resilience and participation should be truly embedded in the climate law with a strong emphasis on energy sufficiency policies and a key (not optional) role for the multilevel dialogue platforms

2) According to the “do no harm” principle, local and regional authorities should be able to count on a legal mechanism to report any obstacle (often posed by national measures or legislation) faced in the implementation of their climate neutral strategies  When, based on the notifications received, the Commission identifies a genuine threat to the implementation of the said targets, it shall take the necessary measures to caution Member States against the risks reported.

3) The EU economic governance should be fully aligned with the climate emergency status, with climate proofing applied to all EU funds and programmes, as well as Member States’ fiscal and budgetary policies.