17 December 2020

European Committee of the Regions and ICLEI renew partnership in light of European Green Deal and global climate action

Today, ICLEI and the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) renewed their long-standing cooperation by signing a permanent Memorandum of Understanding, along with an Action Plan for 2021-2022. Priority areas of cooperation include the European Green Deal, climate action and resilience, biodiversity, localising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the circular economy.

As local and regional authorities reinforce their influence on top political priorities, such as climate action and the localisation of the SDGs, the CoR and ICLEI have reaffirmed their cooperation.

Speaking about this cooperation, the Lord Mayor of Freiburg, Martin W.W. Horn, President of ICLEI Europe said: "While we are intensely concerned by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we must not forget the important role that local and regional governments have to play in fighting climate change and pushing towards sustainable development. Particularly in Europe, local and regional governments are key in implementing the EU Green Deal for their citizens. The alignment of our strengths and forces through the ICLEI-CoR partnership is an important and valuable step towards meeting these goals".

The MoU aims to foster the design and implementation of policies in support of climate neutrality, nature and biodiversity protection and sustainability. The CoR and ICLEI will reinforce their efforts through: 

  • regular exchanges at the political level to discuss priorities;
  • participation by ICLEI in the CoR's legislative work;
  • joint efforts to uphold and promote multilevel governance; and
  • cooperation in the global context to strengthen the recognition of local and regional authorities' roles.

The Action Plan 2021-2022 has three specific objectives:

  1. to provide reciprocal support, cooperate and ensure regular discussion on activities with regard to activities of common interest;
  2. to promote, at the level of regional and local authorities, the concept of sustainable cities and territorial areas;
  3. to promote the participation of regional and local authorities in activities that are considered a priority by the two institutions.

Two specific milestones are on the agenda for 2021: the UN CBD COP15 on biodiversity, scheduled for October 2021 in Kunming (China); and the UNFCCC COP26 on climate change, scheduled to take place in ICLEI Member Glasgow (United Kingdom) on 1-12 November 2021. These will be among the key moments for the global community of local and regional governments to have their voices heard on sustainability and climate action.

For more information on the CoR, click here.