Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen (D), 2 June 2010
“Although they represent major challenges to our society, the conjunction of the economic crisis and the fight against climate change can be seen as opportunities, since they give us the occasion to rebuild upon healthy bases the whole system of production and consumption. I am in favour of establishing partnerships with companies, resulting in economic growth and creation of employment as well as in climate protection.” These were the words said by Michèle Sabban, President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER) in front of political, economical leaders and experts, gathered by the Climate Group and the Land Nordrhein-Westfalen (D) to pursue the projects of the Regions and Federated States in the fight against Climate Change.
“We call for a new model of economic development, in which local authorities and industries will be able to work together for the research and implementation of new technologies that will influence climate change,” added Mrs Sabban. The example of the Smart Grids, of electrical networks capable to manage the consumed and produced flux thanks to information and communications technologies (ICT), is a remarkable example. In fact, a study launched by the Climate Group suggests that the ICT can save up to 15% of emissions by 2020 in buildings, motors, the power grid and transportation. An AER study conducted among 67 regions from 25 countries, reveals that 38% of the regions are already using technologies of advanced intelligent networks and 40% are ready to integrate them immediately.
AER therefore calls for a new model of governance: the world has to develop a real approach of consumer involvement in the field of energy that only regional and local authorities are able to implement. They are the ones that, by defending the subsidiarity principle, associate their citizens to public policies developed in today’s complex economic et technologic environment. They are also the ones trying to gain efficiency in the energy field or to mutualise energy supplies.
The participants to the conference welcomed the announcement made by Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) regarding the will of the Parties to reinforce the institution building.
The Assembly of European Regions (AER – aer.eu) is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together more than 270 regions from 33 countries and 16 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.
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