EIT Climate-KIC emphasises need for climate focus in cohesion policy at European Week of Cities and Regions

EIT Climate-KIC was among the urban planners, municipalities, policy experts and academics gathered in Brussels earlier this month (8-11 October) for the European Week of Regions and Cities. 

Top of the agenda was cohesion policy, and the need for greater parity in job creation, business competitiveness, economic growth, sustainable development, and citizen quality of life across Europe. “Europe is not just Brussels and Strasbourg but every city and region, ” said European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker.

Ramping up climate action across regions

While just a fraction of the programme was dedicated to climate, energy, environment or mobility, EIT Climate-KIC — through several events — brought emphasis to the opportunity to ramp up climate action by connecting the public, private and knowledge sectors. This was particularly pertinent, given the launch of the IPCC 1.5C report coincided with the European Week of Cities and Regions. 

Highlights included a TED-style talk from EIT Climate-KIC CEO Kirsten Dunlop about accelerating climate innovation for regions and cities in the Multi-annual Financial Framework, while EIT Climate-KIC Director of European Affairs Mike Cherrett discussed the role of universities as engines for growth.

Integrating climate into cohesion policy

The IPCC report was mentioned by both Dunlop and Cherrett, underscoring how climate action is critical to regional competitiveness, and how this can be mainstreamed into cohesion policy through support for innovation in cities and regions.

Launch of Reindustrialise

EIT Climate-KIC also launched its Reindustrialise flagship programme aimed at targeting innovation to help transform carbon-intensive regions to low-carbon hotspots at the European Week of Cities & Regions. 

Regional industry transformation carries a perceived risk of negative economic and social impacts on communities, which can lead to resistance of policy makers, businesses and civil society in these regions. This hinders innovation and substantially slows down climate action.

The programme aims to work with local stakeholder to develop new solutions to tackle industrial transition need to combine both decarbonisation and economic development. 

According to the organisers, over 6000 people from right across Europe participated in the week, featuring over 300 partners and over 140 regions and cities. 

Kirsten Dunlop’s talk will be published on climate-kic.org in the coming weeks.

 
Location
Belgium
Related Focus Area
Urban Transitions
Related Goal
Goal 2: Create green, resilient cities
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