European leaders must take a strong, unified position on the future of international environmental policy and ensure that next year’s Rio+20 summit does not just result in statements of good intent but in concrete actions and tangible targets. This was the message from the Committee of the Regions President Mercedes Bresso and Ilmar Reepalu, Mayor of Malmö ahead of next week’s discussion in the Environment Council on the position Europe should take at next year’s United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in Brazil.
Speaking in Malmö, Sweden, at a seminar on the role of local and regional authorities in creating a ‘green economy’, Mercedes Bresso urged Europe to continue to take the lead on sustainable development and secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development. “I was at the in ‘Earth Summit’ in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and I am still impressed by the momentum that that conference gave to the concept of sustainable development. But the world still faces major environmental challenges, and the goodwill of 1992 has more often than not failed to translate into concrete action. That is why the Committee of the Regions supports the call for Rio+20 to adopt a green economy roadmap that sets targets and appropriate indicators, and formulates actions to achieve these.”
The Committee of the Regions (CoR) is the political assembly that provides the regional and local levels with a voice in EU policy development and EU legislation.
The Treaties oblige the Commission, Parliament and Council to consult the Committee of the Regions whenever new proposals are made in areas that affect the regional or local level. The CoR has 344 members from the 27 EU countries, and its work is organised in 6 different commissions. They examine proposals, debate and discuss in order to write official opinions on key issues.