Communication for Sustainable Development

Discussing local role in the Europe 2020 strategy to achieve sustainability goals

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The European Convention of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability organised the 12-13 September met local authorities committed to sustainability. The main conclusion of the meeting was that without the full involvement of local authorities, EU sustainable development commitments and grassroots promotion of a new EU growth model will not materialise.

The local authorities committed to sustainability met on the 12-13 September at the European Convention of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability. Mercedes Bresso, President of the Committee of the Regions (CoR), took part in the opening session alongside Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik and the Brussels-Capital Region's environment Minister, Evelyne Huytebroeck.

At the meeting, Ms Bresso, President of the CoR, reminded that the local authorities must play a decisive role in delivering the Europe 2020 strategy. She also stressed that substantial efforts will be required on the ground, backed up by initiatives that are effective at fostering stronger cooperation and good practice sharing among authorities. Thus, the Territorial Pacts and the Covenant of Mayors are good references for local and regional authorities determined to work together in effective partnership to deliver growth and promote a green economy across Europe.

The CoR has called for action and financial resources to focus on the Europe 2020 Strategy in recent months, not least through strengthened multilevel partnerships. A good example here are the Territorial Pacts, which Ms Bresso described as efficient tools for the practical implementation of the 'resource-efficient Europe' flagship initiative, which presents local authorities with the challenge of trying out more efficient management models in strategic sectors such as integrated water management or the re-use of raw materials.

The President of the Committee of the Regions put also forward a recommendation to actively involve cities and regions in climate negotiations, including Rio+20, thereby recognising their crucial role in supporting sustainable development, promoting the green economy and beating poverty. The European Commission also opened consultations on environment regarding resource efficiency, Rio+20 Summit and bio-based economy.
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