The EESC supports the adoption of a legally binding agreement in Paris and strongly supports the EU's negotiating position. The Committee believes that the EU can play a leading role by demonstrating that climate policy and positive economic development go hand in hand.
A key point from the EESC’s perspective is the role of civil society in this process. A broad-based global civil society movement has emerged that is now calling for rigorous climate protection efforts. Agreements must meet with broad public approval and support from businesses, trade unions and other groups of civil society.
Civil society has a key role in monitoring what governments do, and is best placed to put pressure on policy makers to ensure they honour their commitments. Secondly, civil society will be instrumental in the actual implementation of the agreement on the ground. And thirdly, civil society partners can share good practices, disseminate knowledge and push for the adoption of new green technologies.
In order to ensure broad support and to encourage implementation "from below", the EESC recommends that the Commission, the Council and the European Parliament (EP) engage in intensive and structured dialogue.