As UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon convened leaders for a Climate Summit in New York on 23 September, the international spotlight is being turned on the EU's capacity to forge solutions and make pledges in the UN arena, at a time when new Commissioners will not be in the office, yet. Just days before the European Council is debating the post-2020 climate framework in light of long investment cycles and the need to boost low-carbon-technologies, are there any chances to promote ambitious EU proposals for 2030? Can the EU gain back a pioneer role through own pledges when it comes to mitigation, adaptation and financing - or is there a risk for the Union to remain a latecomer due to internal tug wars? Does Europe rather need fresh impetus from its regions to reach climate commitments in the EU, as time runs out until talks under UN auspices have to be finalised in Paris next year? With more and more municipalities and regions embarking successfully on climate action, are there chances for these actors to go beyond current achievements, particularly if an ambitious EU strategy does not see the light of day? As regional and local entities - directly affected by climate change - would be hit hard by a failure of the 2015 Paris summit, how can local and regional climate action be driven forward and coordinated more transnationally in the near future?
This conference was organised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy, Climate Protection and Regional Planning Rhineland-Palatinate, in cooperation with the Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to the European Union, the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union and the Rhineland-Palatinate Competence Centre for Climate Change Impacts.