Europe is changing. Internal and external forces are shaping our society, economy and politics. A resurgent Russia practices petro diplomacy to the East, populist cries ring out across Europe, tensions rise around migration, economc inequality drives alienation, anger and disengagement, air pollution compromises countless European lives all while catastrophic climate change stands on the horizon demanding the greatest coordinated mobilisation of resources in Europe’s history.
Time is short but the window for quick, decisive actions is open. We must seize this moment
- Direct the European Investment Bank, which has disbursed €12 billion in fossil fuel projects since 2013, to follow the energy subsidiarity principle (funding projects that harvest local savings and renewable resources in priority) and completely divest from fossil fuel projects.
- Provide municipalities with legal support and advice to protect them against court cases seeking to rule out energy and climate plans that are in line with theParisagreement.
- Include the Covenant of Mayors as a partner to Member States and EU institutions for designing energy policies from the bottom-up.
- Increase the EU Transition Fund to enable a radical change in energy generation and environmental responsibility in all EU territories and finance the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAP) of cities (add a special budget line in all regional partnership agreements in order to finance SECAPs)
The key to halting climate change is to build on a resilient economy, based on available resources.
- Mainstream carbon budgeting principles across EU memberstates and lift barriers to public investments that increaselocal energy efficiency and independence.
- Develop a special joint programme between Common Agri-cultural policies and urban/regional development policies to have energy/food/transport production partnerships.
- Transform the Covenant of Mayors’ initiative into a real transition lab and peer to peer learning hub (and transform each city’s Mission Innovation into a programme to support local climate efforts such as a Hackathon for Climate).
- “ Without Transparency, no Trust; Without Fairness, no Mobilisation”: these principles should guide all EU policies to include all EU citizens in the transformation to come.