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's 350 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.
Although large funds have been pledged in Climate Finance pacts, the EESC wants to highlight a problem with small scale non-state climate actors accessing financing to ensure potentially transformative initiatives are supported and can happen.
The flows of climate finance in the European Union need to be urgently monitored and mapped. This will facilitate measuring the impact for non-state climate actors, and ensure the progress on a wider transformation of the economy to a low carbon model can be assessed.
The sources of finance are disparate, as are the bottom-up initiatives that require access. Mechanisms to address this disconnect are not in place. This should be addressed by establishing an inclusive Climate Finance Forum at the EU level.
The EESC is proposing a Climate Finance Forum to address the key issues, bringing together key stakeholders to identify barriers, design solutions, and identify most efficient mechanisms for improved distribution of finance, including a type of match making service that links projects and appropriate climate finance sources to each other.
A mechanism for reaching initiatives that require smaller sums needs to be created (then effectively communicated) that includes:
simplified application process
simplified reporting requirements
supports for projects at design stage, pre-application for funding
supports for capacity building, networking, exchange and platform development at local, regional, national and European level.
A focus on climate finance should not be to the exclusion of responsible financing in other areas. All financing should be climate proofed to ensure that any funding and financing outside of specified climate finance is not working against the climate commitments and targets. This needs to be adhered to in the context of the Paris Agreement Article 2.1c, for existing finance flows to be consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.
A toolkit needs to be developed, with a clear communication strategy, that empowers non-state actors at all levels to understand and be able to access climate finance. The toolkit should facilitate project developers to design projects that will contribute to a low carbon and climate-resilient economy.