• 04 Nov 2020

    Governance models for climate neutrality: What we learn from Covenant cities

    In a session organised with the Committee of the Regions as part of the European Week of Regions and Cities, we invited several of our signatories to share their experience in implementing participatory models of governance to combat climate change.

    To Rafal Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw and Committee of the Regions rapporteur on the EU Climate Pact, the climate pact is a mean to achieve the goal of climate neutrality. He stresses the need for closer collaboration between local authorities and the EU, and the importance of making EU funds available to local authorities. Mayor Trzaskowski says the European Climate pact ‘should be an enabler for closer cooperation between the local and regional authorities and European institutions,” and should act as an umbrella for different climate initiatives

    The Finnish city of Turku has plans to achieve climate neutrality by 2029 and becoming climate positive by 2030, reports the Mayor, Minna Arve. Turku has been able to halve its carbon emission compared to 1990 levels, while simultaneously growing the economy. In addition, the city does so by involving people, such as giving the possibility to use city bikes all year round, creating energy positive student housing, and offering citizens a carbon footprint calculator so that they can make their own plan for low carbon daily living.

    Mohamed Ridouani, Mayor of the Belgin city of Leuven, says the city has got successful practices with regards to its inclusive innovation-governance model ‘Leuven 2030’, involving businesses, local government, knowledge institutions and civil society. Leuven has set up an organisation, Leuven 2030, in which each of these stakeholder groups (and a semi-public group) has a 20% of the votes to shape the way the city organises its climate and energy action. Together, these groups coordinate the city’s climate plans, in cooperation with the city administration.

    If you want to hear more about the plans of the Covenant cities and listen to further speeches by Charles Fournier (vice-president of the Centre Val de Loire-Region), member of the Youth Regional Council Stécy Dyvrande and  Máirtín Ó Méalóid (manager of the Cape Clear Island Cooperative in Ireland), you can watch the recording of the session at the EWRC here.