Cities call for more resources to fight climate change
Barcelona, Milan, Athens and Berlin jointly call for action from state authorities and EU to help deal with environmental issues
Barcelona, Milan, Athens and Berlin on Wednesday called for more resources and powers from their state authorities and the European Union in order to combat climate change.
In a summit in Barcelona of the C40, the global network of cities for the environment, the mayors of the four urban centers pointed to the "pioneering" role of cities in fighting climate change.
Barcelona mayor, Ada Colau, praised the fact that the Spanish government's future climate change law foresees a ban on the sale and registration of diesel, petrol and hybrid vehicles from 2040.
In fact, Colau suggested stopping subsidies for diesel vehicles "today," and called on political parties to put forward "specific action" on the issue in the upcoming European election.
Colau: cities leading the fight against climate change
Colau also reprimanded state authorities and the European Commission for not being at "the same level" as cities, even though it falls to them to lead the fight against climate change.
"We can wait no longer, the lives of the citizens is at stake," she said, adding that state authorities must understand that cities are "fundamental allies" because they are the "new global actors."
"We can wait no longer, the lives of the citizens is at stake"
Ada Colau · Barcelona mayor
For her part, the Spanish energy minister, Teresa Ribera, admitted that cities are "fundamental actors" and insisted that fighting climate change is key for the "prosperity and good functioning of the economy."
Ribera also made a call to "think about the future generations" and not to be "timid" when it comes to implementing "disruptive" measures in the field of energy.
Mayors call for "direct" EU funding
The mayor of Athens, Giorgios Kaminis, explained that the Greek capital has launched an app to warn people when a heat wave is due, which are more frequent due to climate change.
Kaminis also criticized the lack of action from the EU on issues such as climate change or refugees, and said that cities are the ones that have been "leading" policy in these areas.
Direct funding from EU
"We need direct funding from the European Union for cities," demanded the mayor Athens.
As for the mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, he said that cities must have a "cooperative mentality" and he highlighted the importance of the public and private sectors working together on issues such as mobility.
"It is time to take action from the political point of view," he said, even though he recognized it is not "easy," and pointed out that Milan had opted for electric buses and car sharing.