Better prepared than ever before for the fight against climate change

It is evident that regions regions have worked hard in the fight against climate change, but our visibility as strategic players has only been possible through our unity and organisation, which allowed us to be present at all international debates and to position our voice. Now we are working towards the COP21, the United Change Conference on Climate Change that will be held in Paris next December.

On the 10th and 11th October last year, Ile-de-France hosted the World Summit of Regions for Climate. More recently, on the 4th and 5th of June, the Forum of the Mediterranean Civil Society, MedCop 21, was held in Marseille. A few days later, on the 24th and 25th of June Yamoussoukro, Lakes Region, Ivory Coast, hosted the Summit of African Cities and Regions for Climate.  Ultimately, on the 1st and 2nd of July, the World Summit Climat &Territories tool place in Lyon.

We are proud to say that this four major events have been organised by members of ORU. The first one was organised by R-20. The PACA region organised the Med COP21. The African regions were called by ARDCI and the meeting in Lyon was convened by Rhône-Alpes. This means that all this was promoted by our friends and leading members of our organization: Michèle Sabban, Michel Vauzelle, Jeanot Ahoussou Kaudio, Jean-Jack Queyranne and Bernard Soulage.

In all of these summits, a more prominent role of intermediate governments in the fight against climate change and in the reduction of carbon emissions has been claimed. I believe it’s a legitimate demand. The intermediate governments are a key coordinating authority between the municipal governments, the central government, the nexus between rural and urban areas and the public and private actors. Therefore, regional governments must take on competences and have a proper budget to deploy policies against climate change, to control emissions or to develop clean energies. National Governments must set the emission reduction targets. However, they must do it in agreement with those in the territory, that is, local and regional governments.

President François Hollande, as host to the Cop-21, should have an impact on the final result. In the World Summit Climat & Territories held in Lyon he stated that local governments should have adequate resources to fight against climate change. As is almost always the case, we have doubts as to whether the local concept includes, or not, the regions. Also in Lyon, Cristiana Figueras, delegate of the UN Fight against Climate Change, and Laurane Tubiane, French ambassador in the preparation of the Summit, said that the UN Paris Summit, would have a space for regions besides the space for states..

Regions have made great efforts to position their role in the fight against climate change, and we hope that these efforts will be reflected in the United Nations Summit in Paris, the COP21. If that is the case, ORU’s members will take part more prepared than ever.

Paul Carrasco

ORU's President


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