The EESC issues between 160 and 190 opinions and information reports a year.
It also organises several annual initiatives and events with a focus on civil society and citizens’ participation such as the Civil Society Prize, the Civil Society Days, the Your Europe, Your Say youth plenary and the ECI Day.
The EESC brings together representatives from all areas of organised civil society, who give their independent advice on EU policies and legislation. The EESC's326 Members are organised into three groups: Employers, Workers and Various Interests.
The EESC has six sections, specialising in concrete topics of relevance to the citizens of the European Union, ranging from social to economic affairs, energy, environment, external relations or the internal market.
Welcome by Isabel Caño Aguilar, Vice-President of the EESC
9.45 a.m. | Where are we?
This session will explain where the non-state actors are in terms of realising their potential for action. The first Yearbook on Global Climate Action launched at COP23, shows that non-state actors are starting to deliver. But what are the challenges that they face that need to be overcome in order to fulfil their full potential?
Marrakesh Partnership state of play, Tomasz Chruszczow, High-level Climate Champion
The role of non-state actors in the process of Talanoa Dialogue, Ronan Dantec, President of the Climate Chance Association
10.15 a.m. | Where do we want to go?
EESC calls for a "European Dialogue on Non-State Climate Action" to strengthen and increase the scope, and scale, impact and effectiveness of European-based non-state climate action. How can the EU help design an enabling framework supporting these actors that provides a network environment conducive to brokering new partnerships, enables peer learning, knowledge and advice sharing and facilitates access to finance? What is the role of specific EU Institutions?
Elina Bardram, Head of unit, DG Climate Action, European Commission
Roby Biwer, Vice-Chair of the Commission for Environment, Climate Change and Energy of the European Committee of the Regions
11.00 a.m. | Framing of the participatory circles – moderator: Bernard Soulage, Secretary General of the Climate Chance Association
The circles will be organised according to the Talanoa approach. The Talanoa Dialogue was launched at COP 23 in 2017, under the Fijian presidency. Talanoa is a traditional word used in Fiji and across the Pacific to reflect a process of inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue. The process of Talanoa involves the sharing of ideas, skills and experience through storytelling. The Talanoa Dialogue was launched at COP 23 to allow countries to assess the progress made so far towards achieving the long-term goal of the Paris Agreement, and to help them increase the ambition of their Nationally Determined Contributions by 2020.
11.30 a.m. | Parallel sessions
Participatory Circle 1: Assessing and tracking non-state climate action (room JDE63)
Participants will be invited to discuss how the assessing and tracking function should be organised. A better understanding of contributions by non-state actors can help in:
being a first step towards including non-state actions in the implementation of national and EU-level climate policies;
in-depth studies of particular climate actions can help in drawing up public policies and identifying regulatory obstacles, scalable solutions and the circumstances under which particular measures are effective;
it can generate practical knowledge for non-state actors to effectively engage in climate action
Facilitator: Sander Chan, German Development Institute. Example: Anne Barre, Observatoire Climate Chance.
Guiding question 1: What -- in your view -- is vital information about (your) climate action that should be reported on? Does this entail data on emissions, and/or other aspects of your climate action? Guiding question 2: Do you think you have enough capacity to report and provide relevant data e.g. to national governments and EU-level institutions on progress of climate action? If not, how can we address challenges to reporting or the tracking of progress on your climate commitments?
Guiding question 3:If EU-level institutions, such as the EESC, would collect data and track progress on climate action, how could that benefit non-state actors? How -- in your opinion -- could better data and transparency lead to better performance and/or more climate actions?
Participatory Circle 2: Recognising non-state climate action (room JDE61)
Participants will be invited to discuss how the recognition function should be organised. Currently, the bulk of climate actions in Europe are not or hardly recognised at the European level. The opportunity to recognise and highlight particularly effective, innovative, and creative climate actions, however, can be a cost-effective means of incentivising new actions and encouraging ongoing ones.
Facilitator: Krzysztof Ostrowski, EESC Member.
Example: Patrick Oliva, co-founder of Paris Process on Mobility and Climate (PPMC).
Guiding question 1: What could be the benefits of better recognition of bottom-up climate action?
Guiding question 2: How should the recognition function be organised?
Participatory Circle 3: Improving governance (room JDE62)
Participants will be invited to conversation tables to discuss how the improving governance function should be organised. Frontrunners across non-state actor groups are likely to identify obstacles and opportunities to improve governance. Their insights can help identify regulatory obstacles at European, national, regional or local level and initiate their removal, as well as create an adapted regulatory framework conducive to climate action. A European Dialogue for Non-State Climate Action should collect feedback on an ongoing basis and address challenges with public authorities, in order to progressively build an enabling governance environment for bottom-up climate action.
Facilitator: Andy Deacon, Policy Coordinator, Climate Alliance.
Example: Andrew Cooper, Kirklees Council (UK), member of the European Committee of the Regions
Guiding question 1: What are the main legislative and regulatory stumbling blocks that inhibit acceleration of bottom up climate initiatives (give concrete examples)?
Guiding question 2: How should these stumbling blocks be addressed so that the EU climate governance can be improved and the bottom up climate action supported and accelerated?
1.00 p.m. | Lunch break
2.30 p.m. | Parallel sessions
Participatory Circle 4: Enabling conditions for action (room JDE62)
Participants will be invited to discuss what the enabling conditions for action should be. Different types of support can be envisaged, including:
the provision of a network environment that is conducive to brokering new partnerships;
the facilitation of peer learning and advice sharing;
the provision of education and learning as well as stimulating innovation, e.g. through massive open online courses (MOOC), webinars and workshops on specific issues.
Facilitator: Wendel Trio, Climate Action Network, CAN-Europe
Examples: Meera Ghani, Ecolise, and Philippe Micheaux Naudet, ACR+ (Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource management) and Climate Chance Coalition on Circular Economy
Guiding question 1: What are the main stumbling blocks (except for legislative and regulatory barriers) that inhibit acceleration of bottom up climate initiatives?
Guiding question 2: How should these stumbling blocks be addressed so that the bottom up climate action can be supported and accelerated?
Participatory Circle 5: Facilitating Access to Finance (room JDE63)
Participants will be invited to discuss how to facilitate access to finance.
Facilitator: Charlotte Boulanger, Head of Climate Finance at Fonds mondial pour le développement des villes (FDMV), in charge of the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance (CCFL) Secretariat, member of the Climate Finance Coalition
Example: Ronald van Meygaarden, Climate Alliance & Deputy Mayor of the City of Geldermalsen (NL), Chair of the Climate Alliance Working Group on financing
The ultimate goal of the proposed dialogue is to accelerate climate actions by making them attractive for a multiplicity of non-state actors, and to make climate action the new "business-as-usual". One of the biggest obstacles is access to finance.
Guiding question 1: What are the main stumbling blocks as regards access to finance?
Guiding question 2: How should these stumbling blocks be addressed so that the bottom up climate action can be supported and accelerated as regards access to finance?
4.00 p.m. | Coffee break
4.30 p.m. | Closing session
Moderator: Ronan Dantec, President of the Climate Chance Association
How do we get there?
Cillian Lohan, Vice-President of the NAT section, EESC: Presentation and summary of the outcomes of the participatory circles
Niclas Svenningsen, UNFCCC, Sustainable Development Mechanisms programme
Tine Heyse, Climate Alliance president, Deputy-Mayor for Environment, Climate, Energy and North-South, City of Ghent (BE), representative of the Covenant of Mayors
Yvon Slingenberg, Director of DG Clima, European Commission
5.30 p.m. | End of the event
Participants can speak in EN, FR and listen to EN, FR.