As 2021 opens doors to a green and sustainable recovery, governments are taking steps forward launching packages designed to revive their societies and economies, with the European Union taking some of the most notable measures in this regard with the European Green Deal.
On 26 March 2021 the 7th Meeting of the Commission for the Environment, Climate Change and Energy (ENVE) of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) was convened, which included two debates on green recovery and climate action respectively.
Regions4, ICLEI and Jacques Delors Institute were invited as guest speakers to the debate on the green recovery and the importance of the interlinkages with climate action and investment in nature to build back better.
Regions4 Presidency was represented by Ms. Amaia Barredo, Vice Minister for Environment of the Basque Country, who shared our Network’s perspective regarding the European crisis recovery policy and the Green Deal.
During her intervention, Ms. Barredo affirmed that the recovery plans have become one of the most relevant tools to face the current crisis, however, it is necessary to integrate the “one health” approach and the interlinkages between people, nature, and economy. She emphasized that while we recover from the health, economic and social crisis, we must not forget the environmental one, and that the solutions which include climate adaptation and biodiversity conservation apply to them all.
The Regions4 constituency launched the Declaration for a just, inclusive, and resilient recovery in 2020, and our organisation has been a key partner of the Edinburgh Process and Edinburgh Declaration, which gathers the aspirations of local and regional governments and their role in the new post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
Ms Barredo reminded ENVE Members that Regions4’s community is already proving that it is possible to walk towards a green recovery based on nature conservation and climate action. Regions4 members in Europe are delivering clear actions in this regard:
Regions4 reminded that local and regional action is key to achieve the European green recovery and therefore, must have a central place in the long-term budget of the European Union. To deliver the Green Deal all levels of government must share the same objectives and have access to the same level of resources.
Regions4 praised the initiative Green Deal Going Local led by the ENVE Commission and the CoR, which will guarantee that the Europeans sustainable growth strategy and the COVID-19 recovery plans translate into tangible actions implemented in the territories with people and nature at the core.
As part of the partnership between CoR and Regions4, our organisation offered its support to the Green Deal Going Local initiative, and proposed to amplify its impact by the collaboration opportunities offered by Regions4’s flagship initiatives:
Regions4 continues to work in commitment to a sustainable and inclusive recovery model where regional leadership plays a central role. We invite all governments to join our actions, including the endorsement to the Edinburgh Declaration to reinforce the role of subnationals within thepost-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, which will become a crucial ally of the European Green Deal.