Some regions take the lead in the fight against Climate Change

When COP 27 has once again highlighted the weak commitment of most countries in the fight against Climate Change, in Sharm El Sheikh it has been seen more clearly than ever that some regions are taking the vanguard of this cause. Thus, those most involved, as if they had agreed before traveling to Egypt, made solemn announcements in which they committed constant and resounding budgets in the fight against Climate Change.

While the states did not reach an agreement on the economic fund to deal with losses and damages caused by Climate Change until one day after the official program closed, the Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announced a contribution of 7 million pounds sterling in this concept. With these resources, the affected communities will be able to take direct measures to alleviate the impacts caused by climatic disasters.

It was not the only Scottish engagement. Scotland's Environment and Land Reform Minister Mairi McAllan has pledged to support a package of measures to strengthen the role of women from the Global South in climate action. She explained that a total of £150,000 will be provided to enable women from the Global South to attend COP 28 in Dubai and to provide women in indigenous communities with the resources to scale up local climate solutions. The minister also announced the creation of a new scholarship at the University of Dundee related to the topic.

Another of the regional governments that played a prominent role in Sharm El Sheikh was, without a doubt, Quebec. His environment minister, Benoit Charette, made two important announcements. The first is that Quebec will provide $6.6 million to support agricultural adaptation to climate change in Côte d'Ivoire, Haiti and Senegal. This is the second financial contribution in favor of the agricultural sectors of these three countries. The second announcement was that a new budget allocation will be devoted to citizen initiatives in the fight against climate change. This program will extend its validity for the next five years.

The Regional Minister of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda of Catalonia, Teresa Jordà, also made two important announcements at COP 27. The first when she explained that 80 million euros will be allocated over the next four years to collaborate with the local world, to carry out mitigation and adaptation actions. The second, a plan to promote Sustainable Agricultural Production (SAP), with the aim that more than 50% of Catalan farms are sustainable by 2030. With this plan, the Catalan government will accompany Catalan producers in this transformation towards environmental, social and economic sustainability, among other measures, with a line of economic aid.

The Regional Vice Minister for Environmental Sustainability of the Basque Government, Amaia Barredo, for her part, announced a battery of actions already in the 2023 budget: promotion of energy projects (photovoltaic, wind and marine energy; hydrogen and biomass) worth 56.1 million of euros; public aid for the promotion of renewable energies, electrification of mobility and energy efficiency (114.5 million euros); and promotion of projects that reduce emissions and improve competitiveness in the industry (85 million euros). Between announcement and announcement, Amaia Barredo presented the future Basque Law on Energy Transition and Climate Change and denounced that, in their official debates, the Climate Summits "do not take into account the vision or voice of the regions despite the fact that they are their governments, together with the local administration, the institutions in charge of executing 70% of the mitigation measures and 90% of the adaptation measures to advance the commitments of the Paris Agreement”.

Not only the governments of the north were present and made important contributions at COP 27. The Zicosur delegation, led by its Secretary General, Mariano Fernández, had, for example, a prominent presence. Thus, the Shared Management Areas (AGC) were presented, an instrument aimed at promoting territorial processes, where productive activities are compatible with environmental protection and social inclusion. These are territories of high productive, environmental and social value, whose sustainable management requires coordination between neighboring countries or between neighboring jurisdictions of the same country. Also under the auspices of Zicosur, Tucumán's Environmental Director, Florencia Sagayo, presented the Provincial Climate Change Mitigation Plan and the Norte Grande Climate Change Commission was created.

To explain the regional position, Regions4, with the support of ORU Fogar, presented the "Rabat Salé Kenitra Manifesto", which was signed by 45 regional governments. This manifesto reiterated the request to the parties, the states, that they remain committed to limiting the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees, with renewable energies, and called on them not to resort to fossil energies. Some requests that, seeing the result of the Summit, were completely pertinent. The manifesto calls for the inclusion of subnational governments in decision-making processes, in the implementation and monitoring of policies against Climate Change. Thus, it is argued that regional governments should be considered key government actors with specific, reliable and ambitious long-term goals. Likewise, the existence of multilevel coordination mechanisms was claimed to influence the design, coordination and application of the National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), and the implementation of the financial commitments for adaptation of the COP26.


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