A committee of EU local and social representatives have urged negotiators in Paris “not to fail”.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) together with the Committee of the Regions (CoR) organised a joint conference in Brussels last week.
It aimed to ensure their potential to help combat climate change is recognised in the COP21 international climate talks in Paris which will start at the end of November.
The two bodies have looked at many of the major issues which will be decided by national leaders at the summit.
They want to encourage national governments to recognise and help bottom-up initiatives.
EESC President Georges Dassis said citizens around the world expect “a binding, ambitious and universal agreement and also a structured way of involving civil society, which is indispensable for its success”.
Karl-Heinz Lambertz, Vice President of the CoR, said: “We, regions and cities, are often more ambitious than states on climate policy. We know the development opportunities and the weaknesses in our cities and regions. We are now ready to go further on climate action. But we need adequate support.
“We need a climate governance system that works and that brings into accord all levels of government and an agreement that explicitly refers to local governments.”