The fight against climate change cannot be won at the expense of ordinary citizens

"The fight against climate change can only succeed if all citizens are included. But it is not enough to convince people that we need to change our lifestyles: it is also important to give them the necessary support," said EESC president Georges Dassis at the start of a COP23 side event on A just transition to low-carbon economy hosted by the EESC in Bonn on 8 November.

The EESC presented its opinion on Climate Justice. This concept recognises that the poorest and most vulnerable in society often have to suffer the greatest impact from climate change. Therefore the EESC proposes an EU Bill of Climate Rights in the context of the challenges of the global climate change crisis.

In order to mitigate its impact, consumers need to be provided with sustainable alternatives which do not mean poorer quality or higher prices. The EESC is also calling for subsidies on fossil fuels to be eliminated.

It believes that all citizens have the right to a clean environment, and not only in Europe. "Solidarity must be at the heart of the implementation of the Paris Agreement. This is a common and inclusive initiative which needs cooperation at all levels," Mr Dassis concluded. (sma)