The Assembly of European Regions (AER) associated itself to the R20 « Regions of Climate action » – the world network for the fight against climate change – since its creation in 2010. The region of Ile-de-France (FR) welcomed in October the World Summit for Climate organised by the R20, gathering 500 participants representing regions, cities, businesses, investors and universities from all over the world. They all have a common goal: to generate a vast bottom-up movement to fight against global warming.
“It is in our hands to develop today the sustainable, lasting and economic solutions to address the issue of climate change.” announced AER President Dr Hande Özsan Bozatli to her audience at the round table entitled ‘The COP21 Positive agenda as seen by regional actors’. “The Bottom up approach is the most efficient one, seeing as how local and regional authorities implement 70% of the related measures taken on a global level. They are often more innovative than State designed actions in this field and several regions set stricter limitations to greenhouse gas emissions than the EU. It is about time that regions be granted a more official role to play within international negotiations on climate, such as the Conference of Parties!”.
Mrs Özsan Bozatli supported her arguments with examples of concrete actions already run by AER member regions. Värmland (SE), for instance, have long-since surpassed the timid Europe 2020 goals on renewables, carbon reduction and energy efficiency. The region of Noord-Brabant (NL) impressively established a regional triple helix model for renewables. Within the framework of the EU INTERREG IVC project entitled ‘Region 4 Green Growth’ Valencia (ES) and Norrbotten (SE) have spent the last three years discussing and sharing experience in order to produce recommendations on how to improve policies, so as to unlock and speed up investments in sustainable energy projects. The region of Abruzzo (IT), where significant changes have been accomplished through programmes and campaigns aimed at teaching children the importance of looking after of planet, has also been presented.