Advisory councils share insights on mandate, tasks, composition and governance of a future European Climate Change Council with EU co-legislators
Upon the invitation of EU institutions, a group of governmental and parliamentary advisory councils on climate change, the environment and sustainable development shared their insights on the mandate, tasks, composition and governance of a future European Climate Change Council (ECCC).
The insights of the advisory councils were gathered in a so called addendum. This addendum followed a joint letter previously sent to the EU co-legislators on the added value of a future ECCC. Arnau Queralt-Bassa – chairman of the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC) Network – underlined that the addendum truly touches upon the matters beyond the added value of a European advisory body on Climate Change.
Asked about the mandate, Arnau Queralt-Bassa stated that ‘a future ECCC first and foremost should be mandated to provide evidence-based and integrated policy advice based on the best available scientific knowledge’. In order to do so, Arnau Queralt-Bassa continued, ‘the latest scientific findings of the IPCC and relevant European institutions and agencies should of course be utilized’. A future ECCC should also provide European institutions with a regular and independent assessment of progress on the achievement of GHG emission reduction targets at EU level, and an assessment of the progress made on the implementation of the EU strategy on adaptation to climate change, Queralt-Bassa continued.
In its addendum, the consortium of advisory councils also underlined the importance of a future ECCC to be interdisciplinary, diverse and gender balanced in terms of its composition. But it is not sufficient to ensure just that, Queralt-Bassa warned. For the legitimacy of a future ECCC it is of the utmost importance that its members will be appointed following a fully transparent selection process, underpinned by clear criteria. Of equal importance is that a future ECCC and its members will be completely independent of the institutions they advise. This should be enshrined in law.
Arnau Queralt-Bassa concluded by reiterating the advisory councils’ willingness to cooperate with colleagues of a future ECCC, and by expressing his hope that the ongoing trilogue negotiations will provide the EU with both truly ambitious climate policies and targets, and the institutions to support these policies and targets.