Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), 22 June 2012
“We must recognize that the states and international organizations have once again missed an opportunity to ensure a sustainable future for our planet. But despite this failure, we, the regions and federated states, continue to forge ahead in Rio,” stated Michèle Sabban, President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER) and of R20.
“We will continue to repeat this until everyone understands: the regions play an essential role in the battle against climate change, because it is their job to implement between 50 and 80% of all adaptation and mitigation measures. It is certainly worth celebrating the fact that some people understand this, particularly within certain European institutions. But we must still convince numerous international governments and organizations of the necessity of taking urgent action! I call now upon every region and federated state to take up the sword and shield and act with the states of Europe and the world as our witness, to prove once and for all that a green future is possible,” concluded Mrs. Sabban before a panel of sub-national political decision-makers.
The Assembly of European Regions is now encouraging its 250-plus members to sign the Rio+20 Declaration of the Regions. This declaration is just as ambitious – it establishes, in particular, commitment to reduce GHG emissions up to 30% – as it is progressive, since it recognizes the diversity of the regions of Europe and allows them to sign up for various commitments depending on their level of development. The President of the AER will then deliver the declaration to the COP 18 (from November 26 to December 7, 2012 in Qatar), which will be essentially dedicated to sustainable development.
The Assembly of European Regions (AER – aer.eu) is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together more than 250 regions from 35 countries and 16 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.
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