Advisory councils sent letter to EU co-legislators to share views on added value of European Climate Change Council

In the context of the ongoing negotiations on the EU climate law, governmental and parliamentarian advisory councils have been following the debate on the establishment of a Climate Change Council at the European level. Following these negotiations, the advisory councils sent a letter to the European Council, The Portuguese Minister on the Environment, The European Commission’s EVP Timmermans, and members of Parliament to share their views on the added value that advisory councils have, and how this added value would also apply to a potential European Climate Change Council.

In the letter we introduced several key aspects in which advisory councils at the subnational, national, and European level can create added value, Arnau Queralt – Chairman of The European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC) Network – explained. Advisory councils give – for example – independent and scientifically sound policy recommendations that focus on increasing overall societal benefits. This is tremendously important given the complexity of mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Of equal importance is the ability of advisory councils to provide a useful and valuable voice in the public debate, Arnau Queralt continued.  Councils – gathered in the EEAC Network as members and partners – have been able to highlight important issues for policymakers, interest groups and the general public alike. An advisory council at the EU level could have the same effect, but on a much larger scale, thus, enhancing the public debate on the important decisions that need to be taken on a European level.

The EEAC Chairman also highlighted the ability of advisory councils to provide a holistic and cross-sectorial perspective and to create consistency between policies and long-term goals such as reaching climate neutrality by 2050. This is especially important since the transition does not happen overnight.

Arnau Queralt concluded by saying that he hopes  that the joint letter demonstrated a number of the key added values that advisory councils have, and that he – together with twelve councils from ten European countries and regions expect that a European Climate Change Council will have similar added value.