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17.09.2015

Climate change policy

EU must up ambition to have credibility in UN climate summit in Paris

EU environment ministers are expected to agree on the EU's negotiating position for the forthcoming UN climate summit in Paris (COP21) at their council meeting tomorrow. Commenting ahead of the council, Green climate change spokesperson Yannick Jadot said:

"It is disheartening to hear that EU governments are still squabbling over core elements of the EU's negotiating position for the forthcoming COP21 UN climate summit in Paris. The COP21 is expected to finalise a global agreement but, unlike 6 years ago in Copenhagen, the EU's credibility is seriously flagging. The EU will have to seriously up its ambition if it is to play a positive role in making COP21 a success. We would urge those ministers that have been blocking progress to move aside.

"The EU's 2030 climate change targets are acknowledged to be low on ambition. The headline figure of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40% is already far below what is necessary, both to limit global warming to 2 degrees and to spur the green economy. However, it would actually amount to a far lower reduction if the current surplus of permits in the EU's emissions trading scheme and forest accounting loopholes are not removed. A positive signal from the EU that it is willing to increase this ambition depending on an agreement at the COP21 would provide some momentum and impetus for the Paris talks. We would urge environment ministers to agree to this."

Green climate change spokesperson Bas Eickhout continued:

"Another important issue at the COP21 will be more long-term goals for arresting climate change. We need to be phasing out carbon globally by 2050 and moving to zero emissions to prevent runaway climate change and the EU should join the other countries calling for this in the UN negotiations. Simply aligning the EU's position with that of the G7 (a global reduction of emissions between 40-70% by 2050) is out of sync with the EU's goal of limiting the global increase in temperature to below 2°C. 

"The issue of finance for assisting developing countries most affected by climate change will be a crucial factor in agreement at the COP21. If the EU is to try and positively influence the outcome, we need to both deliver on commitments up to 2020 but also commit to fair and predictable scale of public climate aid beyond 2020."

More information:

Richard More O'Ferrall

Press and Media Advisor (English language and Nordic press, social media)
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