The European Climate Pact: empowering citizens to shape a greener Europe
This article was originally published here.
The European Commission launched the European Climate Pact on December 9th, an EU-wide initiative inviting people, communities and organisations to participate in climate action and build a greener Europe. As part of the European Green Deal, the Climate Pact offers a space for everyone to share information, debate and act on the climate crisis, and to be part of an ever-growing European climate movement.
European Commission Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans said: “The European Climate Pact will bring together everyone who wants to take action for our planet. With the Pact, we want to help everyone in Europe take action in their everyday lives, and give everyone the opportunity to get involved in the green transition and inspire each other. When it comes to tackling climate change, anyone can take action, and everyone can contribute.”
The Commission launched the European Green Deal a year ago as a plan to transform the EU into a fair, healthy, sustainable and prosperous society and to repair the way we interact with nature. The Commission is putting in place the policy and legislation needed for systemic changes, but the solutions outlined in the Green Deal can only succeed if everyone is involved and contributes actively.
Spreading awareness and supporting action
The European Climate Pact provides a space for people across all walks of life to connect and collectively develop and implement climate solutions, big and small. By sharing ideas and inspiring each other, we can multiply our collective impact. The Pact is an open, inclusive and evolving initiative for climate action. It invites regions, local communities, industry, schools and civil society to share information about climate change and environmental degradation, and how they tackle these existential threats. Through an online platform and citizen dialogues and exchanges, it will foster the link between the digital and green transition.
The Commission launched an open call on December 9th, inviting people and organisations to become Climate Pact Ambassadors. Climate Pact Ambassadors will lead by example and engage their communities in climate action.
The Climate Pact aims to help spread scientifically sound information about climate action and provide practical advice for everyday life choices. It will support local initiatives and encourage climate action pledges by individuals or collectives, helping to mobilise support and participation.
In the starting phase, the Pact will prioritise actions focused on four areas that offer immediate benefits not only for the climate and the environment, but also for the health and wellbeing of citizens: green areas, green mobility, efficient buildings and green skills. The Pact has an open mandate and its scope will evolve based on the ideas and contributions of the people and organisations that become part of it. An Annual Climate Pact event will bring together participants to share their experiences and knowledge.
An online launch event with Executive Vice-President FransTimmermans for the European Climate Pact will take place on 16 December, 9:00-11:00 CET. The event will feature an introduction to the first EU Climate Pact Ambassadors, a discussion on upcoming Climate Pact pledges and talks by special guests about the actions we can all take to combat climate change.
Reflecting the wealth and diversity of climate action in Europe, the Commission is inviting individuals, businesses or civil society organisations to organise Climate Pact satellite events. These events will allow for discussions in various languages in order to reach out to local communities, focus on specific topics or highlight the role of particular groups or sectors in the Climate Pact.
The European Commission first announced the European Climate Pact as part of President von der Leyen's Political Guidelines, published in July 2019. In December 2019 the Communication on the European Green Deal further elaborated on the goals of the Climate Pact. The results of an open public consultation in March–June 2020 contributed to the development of the Communication published today.
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