Euro-Chinese Pact multi-stakeholder partnership

EU-China Urbanisation Forum (Transition to Sustainable Cities)

June 2015

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:

4. An inclusive territorial governance linking local and global :

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: