Themed data sheets


2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26)


Summary of the events "Leading the effort: Regional policy makers enabling the transition to a circular economy" (6/11), "Facta, non verba: How cities and regions can deliver on the European Green Pact and secure a climate-neutral future" and "From policy formulation to implementation: innovative regional climate change adaptation solutions" (9/11))


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Regional policy makers and other local actors in the quadruple helix open innovation model (public authorities, private sector entities, research institutions and civil society) should act together to ensure an inclusive and bottom-up transition. This transition should not only be based on regulations but should also include a space for scientists to contribute objective, science-based data and solutions to decision-making and the design of future public policies.

In the same vein, the European Green Pact must be dealt with at local level and implemented in partnership with local stakeholders (businesses, citizens, universities, etc.), as it is itself a policy framework for municipal and community action. Local authorities and city councils - as well as the economic actors in these same territories - are therefore best placed to implement this green transformation.

The fight against climate change must go hand in hand with an increase in competitiveness and the creation of new jobs, so it is important to work towards the creation of a local ecosystem of social economy to ensure a green and sustainable recovery of the economy of these territories. In this respect, the Commission has already launched several actions, such as the "Intelligent Cities Challenge", for the sustainable and inclusive development of cities. For their part, some European networks have also developed tools to measure progress using different indicators. This is the case of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe (CPMR) and its "Regions Act!" initiative, which measures the contributions of its member regions to the objectives of the Green Pact in various areas (transport, energy, innovation, etc.), as it is the regional or local authorities of these territories that have competence in these areas. The EU's "just transition" concept therefore requires specific treatment in each place or region, as well as individualised solutions in each case, as the situation and starting conditions of the regions in this respect are very diverse.

Regional governments are often ultimately responsible for up to 70% of climate change mitigation measures. In addition to financial support, they need technical assistance in the form of human resources or expertise in order to contribute to the transition to more sustainable economic models, together with certain legislative instruments. Such innovative regional solutions should be replicable in other territories, and the strategies used for their design should always include the participation of local stakeholders. This requires integrated governance, in which businesses can decide to undertake change in cooperation with the public sector.

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