GCCA+ DebateFor decades, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have been involved in climate change advocacy and awareness raising, putting pressure on governments and big businesses to take action or face irreversible consequences of runaway global warming.

For the Global Climate Change Alliance + (GCCA+) European Union (EU) flagship initiative, deepening its relationship with CSOs is one of the key priorities.

Deepening partnerships with civil society organisations is also part of the new European Consensus on Development, which was signed in June 2017 at the European Development Days (EDD 2017), an annual event drawing thousands of policymakers and experts from around the world.

How best to do that and mutually benefit on a local, national and international level? That was the subject of a GCCA+ led debate held during the EDD 2017. the June 8 session at the Tour & Taxis conference hall in Brussels to hear from panel of government and civil society representatives.

Participants heard that the EU viewed civil society involvement as vital, and wanted to boost knowledge sharing to create stronger networks that will ultimately maximise impact.

Panellist Rosario Bento Pais of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) credited civil society with driving decision makers to go further on global warming than they otherwise would have.

“Much of what was achieved during all the negotiations on climate change was due to civil society,” she said.