Yourspace - have your say

Claudio Martini, member of the PES Group in the CoR (Committee of the Regions) and President of the Tuscany Region in Italy, raises an interesting question.

According to him, we should look differently to the role of local authorities when it comes to solve environmental problems.

“The socialist political tradition is often much focused on the state – but Europe’s socialists and social democrats should open their eyes to the local dimension, especially when it comes to fighting climate change. Global warming has great impact at the local level: when a flood makes people homeless, it is the local community who has to deal with the disaster first hand. If you look at the Lisbon Strategy of the EU or the UN Millennium Development Goals the role of local government is not prioritized. We need to focus more on the local level”, he says.

Early this year, the European Commission launched the Covenant of Mayors initiative, aimed at reducing by more than 20% the emission of CO2 by 2020, by developing Sustainable Energy Action Plans. Probably we need to do much more but this can be an important step and it is the recognition of the important role played by local governments when it comes to tackle climate change.

Read Claudio Martini’s interview here.

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  1. I think unless we have a carbon tax, or a very well developed quote system municipalities will not be motivated to tackle climate change at home. Once they have to pay for the carbon emission of the local school, or residents will demand a tramline when they cannot afford to fill the gas tank of the car, the municipalities will have a real role.

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