Euro-Chinese Pact multi-stakeholder partnership
EU-China Urbanisation Forum (Transition to Sustainable Cities)
Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer pour le progrès de l’homme (FPH)
The China-Europe Forum organised, under the patronage of DG Energy and the Committee of the Regions of the European Commission, one of the four sub-forums entitled « Transition to Sustainable Cities » in the framework of the annual EU-China Urbanisation Partnership. The sub-forum brought together 30 European and 30 Chinese leaders and experts from the five categories of partners: local authorities; civil society; public and private enterprises; public and private investors; scientists and trainers, etc. The sub-forum was attended by 30 European and 30 Chinese leaders and experts from the five categories of partners: local authorities; civil society; public and private enterprises; public and private investors; scientists and trainers, etc. The sub-forum was organised by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy and the Committee of the Regions. In the first part of the sub-forum, the richness, diversity, depth of views and convergence of contributions illustrated a variety of partnerships between civil, political, economic and financial actors, universities, research centres and trainers. In the second part, an exchange session on the co-responsibility pact and the green awards ceremony was organised.
To download : pacte_euro_chinois_partenariat_multiacteurs-2.pdf (120 KiB)
In the face of global warming, the actors of cities and regions, in China and Europe, are jointly taking the initiative by committing themselves mutually through a pact of co-responsibility to the transition towards sustainable societies
Cities in Europe and China are home to a large majority of the population. They are at the heart of international production and distribution chains. The organisation and functioning of cities, the lifestyles and consumption habits of their inhabitants are the main cause of climate change. Current European and Chinese cities are not sustainable in the long term, neither socially nor ecologically.
Although urbanisation is a long-standing process in Europe and an ongoing one in China, Europe and China are on an equal footing when faced with the need, in both cases, to lead the difficult transition towards sustainable cities and territories.
This transition is a global, multidimensional process, ranging from the transformation of ways of thinking and governance to technological and cultural changes. It involves the cooperation of a large number of actors - local and regional authorities, civil society organisations, public or private companies, investors, scientists and trainers - and the affirmation of their co-responsibility with regard to the transition.
At the same time, the impact of lifestyles and consumption patterns on the climate and on natural resources calls for a radical transformation of global production chains so that they can become sustainable.
Aware of their responsibilities and of the urgent need for large-scale innovative initiatives, Chinese and European representatives of local and regional authorities, civil society, public and private companies, investors, researchers and trainers, wishing to play an active role in a partnership approach to transition, met on 29 June 2015 at the invitation of the European Commission, the Committee of the European Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee. By signing this Pact, they decided to lay the basis for a comprehensive Euro-Chinese partnership for the transition to ecologically and socially sustainable cities. They invite the actors concerned by the transition to join them by signing it in turn.
The overall objective is to establish and implement, for each city and territory party to the partnership, a multi-stakeholder strategy aiming, over the next thirty years, to achieve carbon-neutral cities and territories with strong social cohesion, along a route specific to each city but whose total greenhouse gas emissions will respect the inter-governmental objective of a maximum warming of two degrees Celsius.
To achieve this, the parties to the partnership agree to pool their efforts and thoughts, in particular on the following points:
1. The understanding of cities and territories and the implementation of territorial structures ensuring this understanding
Cities and territories today are not well aware of their own functioning, the flows of matter and energy that enter, circulate, are transformed and emerge, in particular the hidden flows because they are incorporated in the manufacture and distribution of the goods consumed. The partners are committed to supporting the creation of means of understanding the metabolism of cities and territories.
2. Sharing experience and expertise
Knowledge of the experience of others and the transmission of one’s own experience are essential to global progress. This is achieved through the active participation of the signatories in a bilingual, Chinese and English website bringing together these experiences and through a vast programme of exchanges of young professionals, between actors of different kinds and between Chinese and European actors.
3. Adherence to an overall vision of the transformations required by the transition
A systemic transition calls for a shared vision of its different dimensions. The signatories of the Pact commit themselves to making progress on each of them:
a global management of energy, including « grey » energy, incorporated into the consumption of goods and services, in order to set the territorial quotas corresponding to the move towards carbon neutral cities and territories, by defining the mechanisms for measuring the quantities consumed by each player and each sector of activity and the distribution of these territorial quotas ;
a new conception of cities and territories, considered as ecosystems, replacing the compartmentalized vision that prevails today;
an integration of modern technologies in the regulation and functioning of « intelligent cities »;
the design of governance regimes adapted to the management of goods and services, particularly those in limited quantities, with a view to ensuring both the economical management of resources and access for all to essential goods and services;
the long-term planning and development strategy for cities needed to preserve scarce space and natural resources and to develop efficient and resource and energy-saving public services;
the mobilization of the entire population and of the resources of local creativity, in particular through the education of young people, the evolution of university curricula, the creation of priority interdisciplinary research programmes geared to transition;
the establishment of local and external sources of financing for the transition, with particular emphasis on the mobilization of local savings;
Negotiation with companies producing and distributing goods and services, to promote sustainable sectors, with particular emphasis on the development of local resources: renewable energy; circular economy; economy of functionality (substitution of services for material goods; local currencies allowing for a direct relationship between supply and demand of goods and services; social and solidarity economy combining economic efficiency and social objectives; healthy and resource-saving food-processing sectors both in terms of production methods and by limiting waste.
4. An inclusive territorial governance linking local and global :
Governance involving the entire population and civic organizations in the diagnosis, development and implementation of the strategy;
multi-level governance, recognizing that none of the challenges of the transition can be met at a single level and that it is essential both to define common guiding principles for the strategy and to make it possible to find an implementation of these principles adapted to each local context - from the urban area to the neighbourhood and neighbourhood units ;
integrated governance, capable of managing the relations between the various public services for the common good;
a partnership governance, making room for the different types of actors and specifying their co-responsibility;
inclusive governance, ensuring that the poorest social categories benefit from essential goods and services and can play an active role in the transition.
5. Requests addressed together to the States and the European Union
The signatories of the Pact recognize the prominent role of cities and territories in the conduct of the transition and their co-responsibility in this regard. As such, they are taking the initiative. Nevertheless, they recognise that their efforts may not bear full fruit if the States and the European Union do not assume theirs. They therefore address the following proposals and requests to the national and European public authorities:
the possibility given to cities and territories to manage freely and globally the territorial quotas of fossil energy;
a commitment to promote sustainable production chains, particularly through the WTO and bilateral trade and foreign investment protection treaties;
the promotion of responsibility and co-responsibility, if possible through the adoption of a Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities and through the development of international law aimed at deterring irresponsible behaviour;
the generalization of multi-level governance, associating the different levels of governance from local to global to meet the challenges of the transition towards responsible and sustainable societies.