As the third COVID-19 wave spares almost no territory, local and regional leaders’ main focus for 2021 is on delivering a sustainable and inclusive economic recovery that leaves no citizen behind
The ENVE Commission of the European Committee of the Regions has presented its 2021 work programme today. Local and regional leaders’ top priority is to ensure that the COVID-19 recovery translates into concrete projects that accelerate the transition towards climate-neutrality while creating jobs and social inclusiveness in every territory. Climate ambition, refurbishing the EU’s building stock, biodiversity and the 8th Environment Action Programme were amongst the topics discussed in a meeting that welcomed Florika Fink-Hooijer, the new Director-General of the European Commission’s DG Environment. Members exchanged their experiences and lessons learned during COVID-19. The CoR holds a plenary session on 3-5 February 2021.
During his intervention, the CoR rapporteur on the European Green Deal, Andries Gryffroy (BE/EA) , recalled the CoR proposal to develop a regional scoreboard in order to assess the implementation of the EU’s sustainable growth strategy at the local level.
Dimitrios Karnavos (EL/EPP) presented the main points of his draft opinion on the 8th Environment Action Programme (EAP) .The Mayor of Kallithea stressed that the COVID-19 outbreak has increased the need for ‘a better link between health and environment’. Mayor Karnavos sees the 8th EAP as a ‘tool to promote a sustainable business environment and foster green investments’ . Rapporteur Kanavos’ opinion requests the EC to add the Technical Platform for the Environment in its 8th EAP proposal, which is currently subject to inter-institutional negotiations. Adoption is scheduled this week during the CoR’s plenary session on 3-5 February 2021 . MEP Grace O’SULLIVAN (IE/Greens) , EP rapporteur for the General Union Environment Action Programme to 2030, intervened to reaffirm its commitment to cooperate with the CoR in order to move the environment agenda forward.
The members of the ENVE commission adopted a draft opinion on ‘A Renovation Wave for Europe – greening our buildings, creating jobs, improving lives’. Rapporteur Enrico ROSSI (IT/PES), former president of the Tuscany Region (2010-2020) and now councillor of Signa Municipality (Florence), said: ”The European resources available in the coming years are extraordinary. Boosting public investment in the construction sector can accompany the recovery. We insist on multi-level governance, including funding, in particular a technical assistance facility accessible to all regional and local authorities for the implementation of the Renovation Wave, and more flexible budgetary rules for cities and regions to support their capacity to invest in the renovation of buildings. The Renovation Wave represents an opportunity we cannot miss.” A webinar on Financing the Renovation Wave took place last 27 January. Enrico Rossi’s draft opinion is to be adopted on 17-19 March 2021.
Members had exchanges of views on the following opinions:
– Stepping up Europe’s 2030 climate ambition towards COP26 . The rapporteur is Vincent CHAUVET (FR/RE) , mayor of Autun. The draft opinion is to be adopted on 26 March 2021 with the final vote scheduled during the CoR’s plenary session on 30 June – 2 July 2021.
– Safe and sustainable chemicals for a toxic-free environment in Europe’s cities and regions . The rapporteur is the president of the Mazovia Region, Adam STRUZIK (PL/EPP) . The adoption of the draft opinion is scheduled on 26 March 2021 with the final vote foreseen at the CoR’s plenary session on 5-7 May 2021.
– Local and regional authorities protecting the marine environment by Emma Nohrèn (SE/The Greens) , the vice mayor of Lysekil Municipality. The adoption of the draft opinion is scheduled on 26 March 2021 with the final vote foreseen at the CoR’s plenary session on 5-7 May 2021.
ENVE welcomed the participation of Joke Schauvliege (BE/EPP) , member of the Flemish Parliament and CoR rapporteur on the ‘Experiences and Lessons Learned by Regions and Cities during the COVID-19 Crisis’ . The draft opinion is scheduled for adoption during the CoR’s plenary session in March 2021.
The next ENVE commission meeting will take place on 26 March 2021.
In the 2020 state of the environment report , the European Environment Agency (EEA) warns that Europe faces environmental challenges of unprecedented scale and urgency.
Read here the CoR web interview to Dimitrios Karnavos (EL/EPP) on the 8th Environment Action Programme (EAP).
Discover the CoR’s Green Deal Going Local initiative and the CoR’s best practices online map.
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