What kind of Europe do we want for the year 2035? This question is addressed by the EU initiative 'Conference on the Future of Europe', which enables European citizens to discuss their own ideas for Europe's future. Within the member states respective National Citizens' Panels, participants developed policy recommendations that were later passed on to the Conference. Ecologic Institute's Matthias Duwe gave a presentation on the topic of Climate and Environment at the Citizens' Forum in Germany on 15 January 2022.
The goal of the presentation was to provide participants with an overview of the role and current status of EU climate policy. The 'National Citizens' Forum ' consisted of 100 randomly selected citizens that are representative of German society. The forum was implemented by the German Federal Foreign Office as a virtual event with preparatory workshops. The policy ideas developed by the participants were presented to Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and discussed with representatives of the EU-27 at the Conference on the Future of Europe on 21-22 January 2022. All policy recommendations, including those formulated in other national citizens' forums (e.g. France and Belgium), are accessible on a digital platform.
In his presentation, Matthias Duwe discussed the following key points:
- The scientific basis for climate change is clear: we must act now.
- Effective climate protection requires a structural change towards net-zero emissions, including changes in behavior and the replacement of existing carbon-heavy technologies.
- The 1.5 degree target and climate neutrality target are already politically and legally anchored in the EU and should serve as an impetus for innovations that guide a future-oriented economic strategy within the framework of the European Green Deal.
- Effective EU targets and instruments have been developed over the past 30 years but are not yet sufficient for the structural shift towards climate neutrality. They need to be further strengthened in a targeted manner, in a way that considers the differences between member states while making the goal achievable for all.
The video of the presentation is available online.
The presentation slides can be accessed here.