Mayors to EU: Make the Fit for 55 package Fit for Cities. European Mayors Call for Climate Action that is Ambitious, Collaborative and Just
Open Letter to EU leaders signed by 10 mayors, including Athens, Barcelona, Budapest, Heidelberg, Milan, Rome, Rotterdam and Stockholm.
Brussels, Belgium (12 July 2021) - Mayors of 10 European cities today urged EU leaders to deliver an ambitious, collaborative and just revision of European climate and energy legislation in line with the EU’s new 55% net emissions reduction target. In a letter addressed to Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, Charles Michel, President of the European Council, David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament and Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, the mayors call for the Fit for 55 legislative package to match the ambitious and equitable actions of European cities and include them as key partners in its delivery.
Ahead of the European Commission’s initial legislative proposals, to be presented on July 14th, the letter includes a series of specific policy demands. These include calls for the EU to:
- phase out new petrol and diesel cars as soon as possible and by 2035 at the latest;
- enable all buildings in the EU to operate at net zero by 2050, including all new buildings by 2030;
- enable full decarbonisation of electricity grids by 2050; and
- commit to achieve climate neutrality through a just transition, including protecting vulnerable groups from energy poverty and adverse social effects, such as a rise in the cost of living.
Mayors welcomed the official adoption of the 55% by 2030 net emissions reduction target but called on EU leaders to deliver a reform of European policies to help create compact, green and inclusive cities. Further and in light of the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, mayors also call for aligning recovery funding with the goals of the European Green Deal. A green and just recovery is essential to kickstart the EU on a pathway to climate neutrality and the Fit for 55 package is a key milestone.
This letter signals that European cities are ready to play an active role in the transition to a climate-neutral Europe that creates quality green jobs and benefits all citizens equally.
The open letter was coordinated by C40 Cities. The signatories are mayors of Athens, Barcelona, Brussels, Budapest, Heidelberg, Lisbon, Milan, Rome, Rotterdam and Stockholm.
Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan and C40 Vice-Chair for Europe, said:
“We look with great attention to the measures that the European institutions will take to fully involve European cities into the revision process of EU legislation on climate and energy, in line with the new 55% net emissions reduction target by 2030. We call for such process to be ambitious, collaborative and fair: cities are ready and are the best allies to achieve the goal.”
Kostas Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens, said:
“Athens joins its voice to other cities in calling on EU institutions to adopt a bolder and more ambitious environmental legislation for tackling climate change.”
Dr. Eckart Würzner, Lord Mayor of Heidelberg, said:
"Cities are at the forefront of active climate protection. In order to reach our 2030 and 2050 targets locally and globally, a culture of enabling is required on a national and international level. That is why the EU must also create a legal framework that accelerates green, just and sustainable recovery.“