Belfort, Franche-Comté (F), 27 November 2009.
In Belfort, during the last major international climate change conference before the Copenhagen summit, Michèle Sabban, President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER) and its 270 member regions, together with its partners from the United Nations development programme (UNDP) represented by Christophe Nuttal, the Climate Group and its President Steve Howard, along with Ricardo Cordoba, President of GE Energy West Europe and North Africa, launched an urgent appeal for the recognition of the role of regions and federal states in the fight against climate change.
This appeal, adopted by the AER General Assembly held this year in Franche-Comté (F), affirms that the success of the post-Kyoto negotiations, meaning the implementation of adaptation and mitigation measures, mainly depend on the regions. In fact, according to the UNDP, between 50 and 70% of these measures should be implemented by regions and federal states.
Speaking today to an audience of 500 regional politicians, experts, and EU officials, AER president Michèle Sabban said: “This appeal sends a strong message on the eve of the Copenhagen summit: national governments must recognise and take advantage of the crucial role the regions play in tackling climate change and energy challenges. If they fail to secure a truly multi-level response to these challenges, our national leaders will be putting our environment and economic security at grave risk, it’s as simple as that.”
AER is the largest organisation of regional authorities in Europe, bringing together 16 interregional associations and 270 regions from 33 countries. AER’s General Assembly was held at the GE Energy production plant in the heart of Europe’s “Energy Valley”, a fitting location for the adoption of an appeal consolidating the regions’ commitment to sustainable energy solutions.
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