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CEMR General Assembly:We cannot forget about environmental concerns despite crisis!We tend to forget the issue of environment in the current context of social and economic turmoil even though we should be working on better integrating these concerns in our policies.

rnSuch was the main conclusion of a leaders’ roundtable on “Sustainable development: new models for a more resource-efficient society”, which took place on 27 September 2012 at the occasion of the General Assembly of Municipalities and Regions in Cadiz, Spain.

Ronan Dantec, member of the French senate and chair of the AFCCRE environment and sustainable development committee, stated that “we did not save the planet at the Rio+20 United Nations’ conference and it is still necessary that we do so.” A representative of the European Environmental Agency, Ronan Uhel, went further in saying that “our current forms of governance are not suited to cope with changes such as climate change”.

rnParticipants agreed and underlined that while municipalities undertake many efforts to save energy, these need go further as, for example, new technologies are often only implemented in new buildings.  The concept of cities has to be revised as 80% of Europe’s population will live in cities in the near future.

rnThe roundtable was exclusively open to local elected representatives and high-level experts.