AER warmly welcomes the global agreement signed Saturday in Paris between 195 countries and encourages all current and future leaders to meet these important commitments in a fast and fair implementation. For several years, the regions of Europe have shown their strong involvement in tackling the challenges of the climate change on the field.
AER calls on the European Union, its Member States and all the European countries to acknowledge the concrete impact as well as the key role played by the regional and local authorities in fighting climate change; and to actively support them in order to meet the newly established global objectives and targets together.
AER Rapporteur for COP21 Eva Hallström (Värmland-SE) represented the Assembly of European Regions throughout the Conference of Parties, and stated on Saturday evening:
The Paris agreement has just been agreed unanimously and with a lot of emotions. The deal is considered to be the best one that could be reached and does mark the entry into a new area.
While some elements remain too vague and that we could have hoped the calendar to be fasted further, countries are now clearly pushed to raise their ambition. All are encouraged to make new and more ambitious climate pledges by 2018, time when a new IPCC report will also be released, in order to close the emissions gap as soon as possible.
Governments are aligned with climate science and that they agree to pursue efforts to limit global temperature increase at 1.5°. They also very much welcome the fact that the text underlines the importance of making finance flows consistent with this agreed objective. To get there, the world has clearly no other choice than to abandon fossil fuels in the next 35 years. States must now roll up their sleeves to take real actions on the ground. They must quickly transform their economies and redirect all their financial support to the development of renewable energy sources.
This Paris agreement now prompts the European Union to increase the ambition of its own climate policy. European Parliament should continue for Europe to increase its ambition and quickly move to a future based on a 100% renewable energy sources and energyefficency.
The fight against climate change does continue, and the citizens – as we can see from the huge mobilisation that took place in the centre of Paris and other parts of the world today – are here to remind our leaders about it!
The final agreement of COP21 is available here.