20 September 2019

Mayors representing 8,000 European Cities call for climate proofing of EU and national budgets

As youth from across the world take to the streets today, in a Global Climate Strike for the Future, City leaders representing the European Covenant of Mayors have come together to demand the climate proofing of budgets at an EU and national level.

Climate proofing is about analysing every euro committed and spent and assigning it a value in carbon emissions. In this way, spending in various government departments outside of the environment or climate departments does not undermine the spending done to mitigate and counteract climate change.

In practice, it means eliminating spending on fossil fuels and prioritising spending on efficiency first and renewable energy measures, which will reduce emissions and lead to a more rational use of resources.

The Mayors argue that climate proofing is the best way of ensuring that everything possible is done to meet the EU’s commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement, achieve the promise of a carbon neutral EU by 2050 and avoid stranded assets, as fossil fuel investments outlive their usefulness.

They argue that climate budgeting should be a cornerstone of incoming EU Commissioner President Ursula von der Leyen’s ‘Green New Deal’, promised in her first 100 days.

Speaking about the announcement, Anna-Kaisa Heinämäki, Deputy Mayor of ICLEI Member Tampere (Finland), ICLEI REXCom Member, and Board Member of the European Covenant of Mayors, said: “in light of the huge global challenge all of us face in meeting the 1.5°C target, we as European Mayors join our young citizens in their urgent call for action. We will act as their close allies and play our part by further intensifying efforts to make our cities - and Europe - climate neutral. We will work to achieve the Green Deal that we need - one that fosters climate innovation, promotes prosperous development, and creates opportunities for future generations.

For more information and to read the full announcement, click here.