In order to reach a sustainable society, it is necessary to integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning. It is vital to improve education, awareness-raising, and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation but also to strengthen global resilience and adaptive capacities to the effects of global warming.

The approach of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities is based on three key principles: achieving SDGs is the shared responsibility of all levels of government; local and regional authorities must have the necessary competences and financial autonomy to achieve the goals in their respective areas; citizens must always remain at the heart of the action.

For the last two decades, the Congress has been working on the different aspects related to the quality of the environment, the impact of climate change on citizen’s lives and energy transition. This is one of Congress’ priorities as declared by the Congress President during the World Environment Day. The basic premise of Congress action – also shared by the Council of Europe Secretary General – is that local and regional authorities are required to adopt strategies to respond to environmental challenges and adapt their communities accordingly. This approach is carried out through the improvement of education, awareness and human and institutional capacities, as well as progress in fields such as transport, recycling, water and waste management, production and consumption of local products and tourism.

The texts adopted by the Congress relevant to SDG 13 have been grouped under three headings: quality of the environment, climate change and energy transition.