PRESS RELEASE | JANUARY 20, 2012
The Written Declaration on the establishment of the Pact of Islands as an official European Union initiative has been adopted by the European Parliament on the 19th of January 2012 with 388 signatures.
The initiative was launched by Spyros Danellis (GR-SD), Maria Da Graca Carvalho (PT-EPP), Giommaria Uggias (IT-ALDE), Alyn Smith (UK-GREENS) and Kyriacos Mavronikolas (CY-SD), on 12 September 2011 in order to promote the Pact of Islands as an EU initiative and create the conditions for the continuation of the ISLE-PACT process after 2012.
ISLE-PACT is co-financed by the European Commission (DG ENER) and is committed to developing Island Sustainable Energy Action Plans and a pipeline of Bankable Projects with the aim of meeting or exceeding the EU sustainability targets of 20/20/20 for the year 2020.
The Pact of Islands has 62 signatories-island authorities to date; cooperation with more islands is welcome as the Pact of Islands process has been conceived to include all European Islands.
"We are proud of this result and confident that the EU Commission will mobilise the appropriate financial resources to support the functioning of the Pact process, based on the model of the Covenant of Mayors, Smart Cities and other similar EU initiatives", stated the President of Sardinia (IT) and of the Islands Commission of CPMR Ugo Cappellacci.
Approximately 3,5% of the European citizens live in islands and this percentage increases significantly during the high tourism season, adding pressure to the islands' landscape, transportations, energy utilities and water requirements. Furthermore, it has been recognised that many of the European islands are suffering from structural handicaps, leading to population reduction and more particularly the young leaving the islands for better employment and living conditions in the mainland. For this reason, clean energy and environmental quality control, are the paths for the sustainable future.
On the other hand, European island communities will have only benefits to continue to be in the forefront of the fight against global warming. Surrounded by water, with fragile ecosystems and weak local economies, island authorities participating in structures like the Pact of Islands, realised early the need to become important partners in the common global fight against climate change, reduce their CO2 emissions and transform their development patterns.
The European islands have the potential to make a significant impact upon the EU's effort in combating the causes of climatic change not only by fostering a better use of energy resources in their territories, but also by developing their, sometimes considerable, renewable energy potential. This potential should be considered as one of their key assets, both on economic and environmental grounds; as well as a means to implement the objective of territorial cohesion as set out in Article 174 of the Consolidated Version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (2010/C 83/01).