Open letter: An inclusive Green Deal must include accessible environments

13 December 2019

To:

Frans Timmermans

Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal

European Commission

Climate Change is an existential threat to everyone and even more so for persons with disabilities.

Therefore, we are happy that the European Commission is proposing an EU Green Deal, which also acknowledges the social dimension of sustainability.

We are however concerned that the EU Green Deal will not sufficiently ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities, especially in terms of accessibility of buildings and transport as well as of all urban mobility related areas such as public spaces. We call on you to ensure all legislative proposals take into account persons with disabilities, specifically by:

  • Ensuring that all buildings and public spaces renovated during the “renovation wave” are fully accessible for persons with disabilities to make them future-proof and avoid future waste of resources due to retro-fitting;
  • Ensuring that all transport systems to replace existing ones meet the needs of persons with disabilities to the same level as everyone else to avoid inequalities and exclusions of the past;
  • Involving organisations of persons with disabilities on the planned cross-sector renovation platform;
  • Stressing that accessibility to persons with disabilities is an integral part of smart and sustainable mobility;
  • Ensuring all legislation resulting from the EU Green Deal is in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and promote non-discrimination and equal opportunities to all.

You need to ensure persons with disabilities are not left behind. Please be assured that the European Disability Forum is ready to cooperate to ensure a sustainable future that leaves no-one behind

Yours sincerely,

Yannis Vardakastanis

President

European Disability Forum (EDF)

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