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Local governments in the run-up to Paris Climate 2015: from local stakeholders to global facilitators

Climate change is without a doubt the first international issue to require absolute solidarity. Its effects naturally transcend borders, whatever their nature, while its treatment continues to be countered by conflicts of interest, economic lobbies and governmental caution. It is also a question of democracy.

First and foremost, however, the challenge is one that concerns our social model, our consumption, our lifestyles and work habits, and the new points of reference that, today, must define the framework of our development and our liberation.

Recently, a synthesis of a Parliamentary report was submitted by Ronan Dantec,  French Senator for the Loire-Atlantique departement, and Michel Delebarre,  former French Ministre d’État and Senator for the Nord department on the role of Local governments in the run-up to Paris Climate 2015 Conference.

The report, based on more than 30 consultations with experts, representatives of the French autorities and the European Commission, and networks of elected officials, as well as 300 responses from local governments to a dedicated questionnaire is developing three major steps : 1. Building the capacity of local governments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions ; 2. Local governments are crucial to mobilization for Paris Climate 2015; 3. Local governments are crucial to negotiations.

Action of local governments, which design, initiate and coordinate local projects is highlighted with  examples of best practices and tools made available to local areas.

Local governments, aware of their role, must be granted the responsibilities that they are keen to assume in the fight against climate change, so that they may support and uphold the commitments made by the states. There is still some way to go, but a number of solutions and proposals exist.

Above all, we firmly believe that, beyond their usual remit, they can make a three-fold contribution, by mobilizing local civil society, playing a key role in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and, lastly, facilitating negotiations between states and subsequent action.

Real interest has been shown, and France can hope to count on its territories and elected officials. A process must be set in motion, both in France and throughout Europe. But, in order to persuade, it is necessary to demonstrate, reassure, and build links. The report offers 30 proposals on how to launch this mobilization towards a successful COP 21. At a global level, the networks of elected officials, the strength of the French-speaking community and our diplomatic network are assets that we must exploit.

Things are changing in the United States, in China and in many other countries, but we must help support this movement. The authors believe that local governments are one of the keys to doing so!

Download the Report Synthesis (in English) Local governments in the run-up to Paris Climate 2015: from local stakeholders to global facilitators.

Download the Full version of the Report  (in French) Local governments in the run-up to Paris Climate 2015: from local stakeholders to global facilitators.