Áreas metropolitanas da Europa reúnem-se com o foco nas soluções para mitigar as alterações climáticas
Europe’s metropolitan areas meet to seek for solutions to mitigate climate change





The Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council hosted the annual Forum of the European Network of Metropolitan Authorities (EMA) in Helsinki, on 28 and 29 September 2023. The main theme of the conference that was held at the Marina Congress Center was “Climate Change Mitigation through Green and Digital Solutions”.

Politicians from different cities and regions in Europe’s metropolitan areas met to discuss common strategic solutions and propose measures to the future European Commission and the European Parliament. The main objective was to harness the regions’ innovation potential, as well as to promote energy solutions, circular economy and green and digital methods as drivers of European development.

Markku Markkula, President of the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council, stressed the importance of this event: “Now and the coming months will be an excellent time to make an impact in the EU, especially as Finland is providing exemplary pioneering solutions with good cooperation. As participants in this Forum, we now also have the opportunity to learn from each other.

This two-day event brought together in Helsinki over 100 decision-makers from Europe’s main metropolitan areas. The Forum, launched in 2015 by Barcelona, aims to establish a dialogue between metropolitan areas, EU institutions and national governments. This was the Forum’s eighth meeting.

Prior to the conference, European guests had the opportunity to learn about smart solutions in Kalasatama and visit the eco-industry centre in Ämmäsuo on 28 September, followed by a political meeting of the Forum and a fraternisation dinner.

Key speakers at the conference included the Minister for Climate and Environment, Kai Mykkänen, the Presidentof the EMA Network, Antonio Balmón, and the President of Helsinki City Council, Reetta Vanhanen. The Helsinki-Uusimaa region was also represented by the new Regional President, Tuija Telén, who will take up her new position in November.

Minister Mykkänen highlighted Finland’s unwavering commitment to sustainable development, including the bold goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2035. Finland has demonstrated its commitment to the European Climate Law and the Green Deal and aims to become a global example in the fight against climate change.

The conference included three official panels of discussion on topics common to the participating metropolitan areas, addressing issues such as innovation in climate change mitigation, shortage of skills in green and digital transformation, and EMA’s requests to the European institutions and Member States.

The Vice-President of the Porto Metropolitan Area (AMP), Jorge Vultos Sequeira, participated in the discussion panel under the theme Metropolitan Voices: The EMA’s Demands to the European Institutions and Member States – Metropolitan Areas can better deal with specific challenges of the green and digital transition. Therefore, how can they finally get involved with all European policies and programmes?, helping to ensure that the prospects and challenges of the region are taken into account in European policies. In addition, this discussion contributes to the dialogue and cooperation between different levels of government in the search for effective solutions to global issues.

The presence of the Porto Metropolitan Area in the annual forum of the European Network of Metropolitan Authorities (EMA) has as main objectives a greater representation of the AMP among its counterparts, a greater involvement in European policies and programmes, as well as to foster cooperation between the different European metropolitan areas.

At the end of the conference, a joint declaration was adopted calling for strong support within EU and national decisions for sustainable and innovative solutions proposed by metropolitan areas. Metropolitan areas have expressed their desire to play a more active role in political decision-making and in implementing measures to address climate challenges and drive innovation.

The joint declaration stated: “We are ready to drive change and provide solutions to create a positive future for European citizens. By committing to the principles of the circular economy, developing skills, promoting strategic competitiveness and ensuring digital transition, we will create a stronger Europe.”

Consult here EMA 2023 Helsinki’s Declaration.



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