Could the European Green Deal set the standard for a global approach to climate change and international cooperation? The 19th meeting of the Commission for the Environment, Climate Change, and Energy (ENVE Group) of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) held on September 28-29, 2023, in Malaga, Spain, put this question to the fore with robust discussions and deliberation.
Presided over by Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw, and inaugurated by Antonio Sanz Cabello, the Regional Minister for Andalusia, the meeting explored the feasibility of translating the comprehensive approach of the European Green Deal to a global canvas within the United Nations’ ambit. The objective was clear: conceptualize a UN Global Green Deal framework, igniting a collaborative, worldwide march toward environmental sustainability.
Sandra Marin, Team Leader of the International Urban and Regional Cooperation (IURC) Secretariat was able to give concrete examples of what such cooperation could look like, thanks to the experience of the IURC. Sharing the panel with representatives from the United Nations, including Paulius Kulikauskas from UN Habitat, Marin emphasised the IURC’s dedication to global cooperation and sustainable urban development.
As the assembly dived deep into the subject, experts like Francisco de la Torre, Mayor of Malaga, and Miguel Arias Cañete, the former EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, joined forces in examining the holistic solutions required for a genuine green transition. The consensus was clear: global strategies must move beyond sectoral boundaries and synchronise under a cohesive Global Green Deal umbrella.
Moreover, the role of cities and regions in this vast green endeavour was highlighted, with dignitaries such as José María García Urbano, Mayor of Estepona, and Arantxa Tapia, Minister for Economic Development, Sustainability, and Environment of the Basque Country, reiterating the importance of local governance in driving the global green agenda.
In essence, the 19th ENVE meeting set the stage not only for Europe but for the world, advocating for unified and unwavering commitment to sustainability and environmental resilience.