In its opinion on Boosting climate actions by non-state actors, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) proposes a European Dialogue, the main goal of which would be to make engagement in climate change more attractive to the various non-state stakeholders so that it becomes the new business as usual.
"We already have a lot of small projects in energy, transport, agriculture, forestry, etc. and we have to make them more visible and give them greater support, be it through better regulation or easier access to finance. It is important to send a strong and positive message to small businesses and civil society", said rapporteur Mindaugas Maciulevičius.
According to an EESC survey among non-state actors, their most pressing needs are:
- supportive policy/legislative environment;
- access to public funds and fiscal incentives;
- exchange of knowledge and good practices/examples to follow, capacity building;
- improved cooperation among the various players in the private and public spheres.
"Despite its strong global leadership, the EU lacks an internal framework that creates an enabling environment for non-state climate actions", added co-rapporteur Josep Puxeu Rocamora, "and it is our task to remind the Commission of its responsibility".
The European Dialogue (ED) should respond to the needs of non-state actors, prioritise the strategic linking of existing programmes, initiatives and institutions and provide an overview of climate actions. A first step towards the ED should be an event in 2018, bringing together stakeholder networks, representatives from EU institutions and Member States. (sma)