The European Climate Pact is an initiative of the European Commission and part of the European Green Deal. While the Green Deal encompasses a wide range of (forthcoming) legislative proposals, proposals for revisions of legislation, policies or strategies, the European Climate Pact stands out as a unique initiative, which brings “citizens’ dimension” into policymaking. Indeed, the aim of the pact is to “give everyone a voice and space to design climate actions, share information, launch new and support existing activities, showcase solutions that others can follow.” This participatory rationale underpins not only the objective and the envisaged activities of the Climate Pact, but also the process of its creation.
The public consultation, on which we have informed in our previous Monthly Reports, and which was closed at the end of May, was the first step in this process. A total of 3510 contributions were submitted, including a position paper, prepared by the IOC and endorsed by 9 European NOCs and 13 international federations, highlighting that “the sport community is a meaningful and cost-effective partner and should be recognized as an important actor of the EU sustainability policies and practices. It has a transformational impact, is inclusive and multi-stakeholder. It has also developed visible and innovative solutions that help raise public awareness about the impact of climate change. Sport has an unrivalled capacity to advocate, motivate, inspire and gather billions of people across the world around common goals.”
The European Commission’s Directorate General for Climate Action (DG CLIMA), which coordinates the preparation of the Pact, decided to take the participatory approach a step further. It has organised two webinars, the second of which (14 July 2020) had for its aim to follow-up on the public consultation and let participants “co-create” the forthcoming Communication on the Climate Pact. Attended by more than 330 participants, including representatives of the EOC EU Office, IOC, and other Olympic movement organisations, the webinar provided a discussion platform to go more in depth on the ideas raised in the public consultation. Divided in a number of small groups tackling topics such as Climate Pact Ambassadors, support provided by the Pact or organisational and individual climate pledges, participants provided concrete feedback, ideas and information which the Commission will use in preparation of the Climate Pact Communication.
The Communication and with it the European Climate Pact is to be launched in mid-November 2020. In the meantime, DG CLIMA is to further follow-up with stakeholders, which provides a good window of opportunity for the sport movement to get involved.