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The Paris Statement: Innovation and the green economy in Europe after Copenhagen

06 March 2010

Paris Statement of European Regions

The Climate Group and the Île de France-Paris Region hosted a high level conference with Government and business to discuss eco-innovation strategies and opportunities in the challenging context of the post-Copenhagen climate summit.

The morning session included successful and promising examples/case studies and included contributions from State Secretary Dr Jens Baganz (North Rhine Westphalia), Ricardo Cordoba, President of GE Energy Western Europe & North Africa and Agostino Renna, Vice President Sales, Marketing & Strategy, Europe & Africa, Johnson Controls and Anne Hidalgo, First Deputy Mayor of Paris.

Discussions amongst leading clean-tech and electric mobility projects, including: Lumeneo, Renault, GE, Autolib, Cisco, Veolia and Johnson Controls and regional government representatives focused on the following key questions: What does the Copenhagen Accord mean for business and how can regional climate policy accelerate the deployment of new technologies for a low carbon economy?

The joint statement sent to EU Council, EU Parliament and EU calls on them to give more support and funding to regional efforts, arguing that these will not only deliver Europe’s emissions reduction targets and boost jobs in the EU but – in the absence of a binding global climate deal – develop meaningful and effective international climate action at a sub-national level.

The Paris Statement of European Regions also calls on Europe’s national leaders to:

  • Put climate and energy truly at the heart of the future ‘EU 2020 Strategy’
  • Support an increased EU greenhouse gas reduction target 
  • Set binding EU energy saving targets to create new jobs and increase energy security
  • Incentivize private sector investment in European low carbon products, services and infrastructure
  • Recognize and support regional policies to deliver ambitious EU emissions reduction targets 
  • Reach a binding international climate agreement by the end of 2010
Mark Kenber, International Policy Director of The Climate Group, says: “Europe’s regional economies want to lead the low carbon economy and future-proof EU competitiveness, growth and jobs. Their ability to compete internationally in the clean industrial revolution depends on how fast Europe’s national leaders can increase their ambition for a truly integrated European climate and energy policy. We are working with over 60 developed and developing regions around the world who are already leading their national counterparts in creating important laboratories for low carbon development ahead of an international climate deal.”
The Paris meeting was attended by representatives from Scotland and Wales, the French regions Bretagne, Ile de France, Rhone-Alpes; German Länder Bavaria, North Rhine Westphalia; Spanish regions Aragon, Basque Country and Catalonia; and Italy’s Tuscany region.  
Representatives from North American states of Quebec and California participated in the event to bolster important trans-Atlantic dialogue. To encourage new North-South partnerships between developed and developing regions, the Brazilian state of Para, the Oriental region from Morocco and Nigeria’s Delta State were also invited to attend. Yannick Glemarec, Executive Coordinator GEF from UNDP responded by highlighting their territorial approach to climate change program and the efforts to strengthen finance instruments for projects in regions in developing countries.
The closing session with a video message from Jo Leinen, the chair of the environment committee of the European parliament, emphasized the important role of regional governments in tackling Climate change and that they have repeatedly proven to lead ahead on the issue.

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